DUKE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY
DURHAM, N. C.
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Form 934— 20M— 8-34 — C.P.Co.
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A SHORT HISTORY OF THE BAPTIST
MILES MARK FISHER
Sometime Hoyt Professor of Church History
The Richmond Theological Seminary, Virginia Union University
Minister in the White Rock Baptist Church
Durham, North Carolina
SUNDAY SCHOOL PUBLISHING BOARD
A. M. Townsend, D. D., Secretary
Copyright, 1933, by
MILES MARK FISHER
Published June, 1933
Printed in U. S. -A-
GEORGE RICE HOVET
noble son of a distinguished father
who spent his life for underprivileged people
Scholar Educator Administrator Friend
This history is written at the invitation of the Na-
tional Ministers' Institute. Since no authoritative
history of the Baptists has appeared which includes
the religious development of its racial constituents
other than as distinct and separate groups, and that
not proportionately treated, there is need of a story
like this which essays to treat the story of the de-
nomination as a unified whole. If, however, Negro
Baptists seem to be stressed disproportionately, it must
not be forgotten that they have more communicants
by over a million than there are Baptists in the rest
of the world exclusive of the United States, that in
America they are about twice as numerous as North-
ern Baptists and about equal in number to Southern
Baptists, and that their history is available nowhere
Some findings in my unpublished manuscript on
The History of Negro Baptists are incorporated here.
So I am indebted to all those who helped me in that
study, chief among whom are Dr. Carter G. Woodson,
who encouraged me ; Dr. Benjamin Brawley of Howard
University; Dr. L. G. Jordan, Nashville, Tennessee;
and Dr. Norman Cox and Attorney James R. Cain of
Savannah, Georgia, who put valuable source material
at my disposal, and Professor W. W. Sweet, who criti-
cally used my manuscript as a basis for the first
course on the Negro Church at the? University of Chi-
cago. I am also indebted to many librarians, includ-
ing Dr. Frank G. Lewis of the American Baptist His-
torical Society and Dr. Garnett Ryland of the Vir-
ginia Baptist Historical Society.
In spite of the many omissions especially of out-
standing Baptists now living and of the probable in-
accuracies, it is hoped that this history will not prove
too inadequate generally for information and inspira-
tion, for it is believed that the final story of the Bap-
tists will be written along the line herein suggested.
The truth as revealed in the documents has not been
set aside because Baptists are now prepared for a
frank discussion of human problems. May the spirit
of the Galilean guide us into all truth.
The Upper Room M. M. F.
8, February, 1933
I INTRODUCTION 1
II ENGLISH BAPTISTS 10
III BEGINNINGS IN AMERICA 25
IV PROPAGATING THE FAITH 40
V THE SLAVERY CONTROVERSY ___ 56
VI NORTHERN BAPTISTS 70
VII SOUTHERN BAPTISTS 87
VIII NEGRO BAPTISTS 103
IX THE FAMILY CIRCLE 123
X SOCIAL PROGRESS 139
XI EUROPEAN BAPTISTS 156
XII BAPTISTS OF TODAY 169
COLLATERAL READING 181
Founding of the Church
Jesus of Nazareth instituted a way of life compell-
ing - enough for hundreds of modern denominations to
see in it the initiation of their sects, but, as Peabody
says, "hardly any problem of exegesis is more dif-
ficult than to discover in the gospels an administra-
tive or organizing or ecclesiastical Christ." When the
two disciples of John the Baptist followed Jesus as
their Messiah, the church was conceived, but its
birthday was at Pentecost when three thousand new
believers were convicted by Peter's preaching that the
crucified Jesus was alive, both Lord and Christ. Some
Hellenistic Jews complained that their widows were
neglected, and so seven deacons were appointed to re-
lieve the apostles of serving tables. It was Paul who
emancipated the gospel from legalism and ceremonial
observances, who proclaimed the reality of the union
of a believer with Christ, symbolized by the ordinances
of baptism and the Lord's Supper, and who had only
the boundaries of the Roman empire as limits of
his audience chamber. The characteristics of the
early churches were their independence, equality of
ministers, their deacons, regenerate church member-
ship, and ordinances of baptism and the Lord's Sup-
2 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
Influence of Environment
The very genius of the early Christian movement
was its plasticity, without even a guide book for
many years except the Old Testament, which was grad-
ually supplemented by the books of the New. Thus
free to live, Christianity adjusted itself to its environ-
ment and according to the Christian ideal reinter-
preted in nobler form and higher content the Hellen-
istic religions of redemption, the philosophic systems
of speculation, and the worship of the defied em-
perors. As examples, witness the influence on Chris-
tianity of the dying-rising savior Gods of Hellenism,
the Epicurean and Stoic philosophies, and the cult of
the Caesars, especially Augustus, "offspring of a
God." Because of environmental contacts Chris-
tianity at length began to deviate from the early
teachings of the apostles and emphasized pedo- or
infant baptism, sacramentalism, ritualism, cere-
monialism, and other "isms." Tried and purged by
local and general persecutions, although able to sur-
vive and increase rapidly, Christianity in the fourth
century had become the religion of the state, for-
mulated its creed, collected its canon, and in the Bishop
of Rome had a claimant to succession from Peter.
Baptist Views Before the Reformation
The Roman Catholic Church appropriated to itself
the wonderful organization and efficient administra-
tion of the Empire and survived the downfall of that
system. It is impossible to find in the more or less
evangelical groups (Montanists, Novatians, Mani-
chaeans, and Paulicians, Cathari, Bogomils, Albi-
genses, and others) who remained apart from the
Catholic Church, successors of the full primitive
tradition in spite of the fact that all along some so-
called heretics here and there held to the teachings of
the New Testament in a purer form than did the pre-
vailing Catholic Church.
In the wake of the Crusades it is not impossible to
see trained evangelical individuals arising who were
protesting for themselves and their nations against
the ecclesiastical institution. In France there were
Peter de Bruys and Henry of Lausanne; in Germany
was Evervin of Steinfield; in Italy, Arnold of Bres-
cia; in Bohemia, Peter Chelcicky, besides precursors
of the Reformation like Savonarola, Huss, and Wy-
clif, and a host of Waldensians and Bohemian Breth-
ren who were trying to restore the New Testament
The Reformation came in the sixteenth century,
when individuals began to place authority in the Scrip-
tures rather than in the Catholic Church. The name
Anabaptists (re-baptizers) or Baptists, as Charles V
called them in 1535, was applied to all revolters from
the Catholic Church and the equally intolerant Prot-
estant groups. This popular epithet of opprobrium
was more than words; it became fatal legislation, be-
cause, as the Romanists charged, the Anabaptist
heresy was dangerous, being ancient, universal, and
blasphemous. Europe became red with blood that was
shed by many Anabaptist martyrs, some of whom
were chiliastic, socialistic, revolutionary, pious, mis-
Short History of the Baptist Denomination
guided, or fanatical people, but all of whom attempted
to practice the customs and beliefs of first century
Christianity, especially believers' baptism, a self-gov-
erning group, liberty of conscience, and the practical
teachings of the New Testament.
For a decade or more praying bands of "brethren,"
as the Anabaptists preferred to call themselves, had
been in existence before they met in the house of Eal-
thasar Hubmaier at Waldshut, Switzerland, in June,
1524, to discuss their mutual problems. Their views
had been derived in part at least from former per-
secuted sects, especially the Waldenses. Two years
later a conference was held at Augsburg at which be-
lievers' baptism became a distinguishing belief. In
the course of another year definite doctrinal state-
ments and a system of ecclesiastical administration
had been agreed upon. The fact that Balthasar Hub-
maier, noted scholar, sometime professor of Theology
at Ingolstadt (1512), Hans Denck, brilliant Humanist,
and Conrad Grebel, a member of the "Erasmus circle,"
men who in ability and character have been compared
favorably with Luther and Calvin, were the early
leaders among the Anabaptists shows that the move-
ment was of more than fanatical import.
Swiss Anabaptists Scattered
In Switzerland the Brethren criticized the Zurich
City Council for believing in a state controlled church
and infant baptism. As a result a public Disputation
on Baptism was ordered for January 17, 1525. Grebel
with Hubmaier, Felix Manz, and Brother Jorg, com-
monly called "Blaurock," and Ludwig Hatzer main-
tained the unscripturalness of infant baptism against
Zwingli. The Council upheld Zwingli and enacted a
law ordering all children to be baptized. But the
Brethren instituted adult baptism, first Grebel bap-
tizing (probably by affusion) Blaurock, and Blaurock
baptizing some others. Later immersion was sub-
stituted for pouring, and after Easter, Hubmaier was
baptized at Waldshut by a banished Catholic priest.
Whereupon, fines, imprisonments, threats, banishment,
and death were deemed fitting punishments for the re-
baptizers. Grebel died naturally some time after
March, 1526; Manz was drowned by sentence of the
Council at Zurich in 1527; Blaurock was publicly
scourged, banished, and subsequently burned at the
stake in the Tyrol in 1529 ; Hatzer, driven from Zurich,
went to Strassburg where he was banished, and then
to Constance where he was martyred; and Hubmaier,
eloquent, zealous, pure and noble in life, though tor-
tured, propagated the Anabaptist faith in Moravia
where he had fled. Thus denied capable leadership in
Switzerland, the cause fared ill among the cantons, al-
though remnants of those Anabaptists who did not
emigrate to America or settle in Germany can be found
in Bern today.
Anabaptist Confession of Faith
By no means did the persecution accomplish its pur-
pose of exterminating the rebaptizers, but rather
"Anabaptism spread like a burning fever through all
Germany; from Swabia and Switzerland, along the
6 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
Rhine to Holland and Friesland, from Bavaria, Middle
Germany, Westphalia, and Saxony, as far as Holstein."
The Confession of Faith of the Anabaptists was issued
in February of 1527 in Schlatt, and the authorship of
the seven articles whose ideas are shared in varying
degrees by Baptists, Congregationalists, and Quakers
is attributed to Michael Sajttler, formerly a monk who
was martyred at Rothenberg. Among other things the
Confession taught believers' baptism only; the Lord's
Supper for those believers ; a self-governing congrega-
tion, and that Christians were never to hold public of-
fice or to take oaths, but were to obey the civil law.
Yet the very liberty of conscience for which Anabap-
tists contended when carried to its logical conclusion
permitted all preachers of the doctrine to hold what-
ever views they desired. So there were differing kinds
There was Denck, the mystic "Anabaptist Pope,"
who with Hatzer translated the prophetical books of
the Hebrews, and Hans Hut who labelled himself
"prophet" to declare Christ's reign on the earth after
the Turks destroyed the Empire. Although Hub-
maier with his eloquent sermons and busy pen assumed
the role of defender of Anabaptist faith to offset this
radical, Hut remained a vigorous apostle of his beliefs
throughout south Germany and Austria until his sub-
sequent imprisonment and death about 1529.
The Anabaptist movement was rapidly assuming
proportions that made it not only religious but social,
political, and economic as well. Both Catholics and Lu-
therans felt called upon to extirpate Anabaptism
which became perilous to the ruling classes. Austria
took the lead in punishing Anabaptists with death in
1527 by a proclamation which was sent to the prov-
inces of the Empire, and which resulted in the most
frightful executions. But there were cities and dis-
tricts of refuge that welcomed the Anabaptists be-
cause on account of their industry and honesty they
were profitable to the land proprietors. Nevertheless,
pressure from higher authorities changed this atti-
tude because of some outbursts of radical chiliasm,
which was not typical of Anabaptists as a group.
Germany had not forgotten the chiliasm of those
prophets of Zwickau, Thomas Munzer and Nicholas
Storch, whose efforts at Wittenberg were only neg-
atived by the violent denunciations of Luther, who
left his "captivity" to check them. Although those
prophets were not Anabaptists, the Anabaptist move-
ment subsequently had enough radicals associated with
it to stir up discontent among the underprivileged
Melchior Hofmann was an example of these fanatics.
He was blameless in life, pure, and peaceable, but
zealous, mystical, and chiliastic. For him Strass-
burg was to be the New Jerusalem, and he, the prophet
there who should be imprisoned for six months; and
then the end of the age would come in 1533. After
years of spreading his beliefs in Friesland, the Nether-
lands, Westphalia, and the lower Rhein region he went
to Strassburg to fulfill his prophecy only to remain
in prison until his death, ten years later. Hofmann's
influential Dutch disciple was Jan Matthys, a baker
8 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
of Harlem, who announced himself Enoch and wantonly
spread his propaganda.
Conflicts in Munster
In Munster the educated young evangelist, Ber-
nard Rothmann, who had won that Catholic strong-
hold for Lutheranism, was baptized by disciples of Jan
Matthys. Soon Matthys came to town in person, af-
ter being preceded by John of Leyden and others. Mat-
thys announced that Munster had been revealed as the
New Jerusalem instead of Strassburg ; the Kingdom of
God in Munster was set up. Munster became a city
of refuge for radicals. All who did not acquiesce in
that radicalism were driven out. In resisting the
Bishop and his followers, Matthys was slain. John
of Leyden was made king, but Catholics and Lutherans
united to rid the city of Anabaptism which had be-
come communistic and polygamous with a reign of ter-
ror. The city was captured, June 24, 1535, and the
surviving Anabaptists were tortured and killed. The
iron cages, in which the leaders were suspended from
the tower of the Church of St. Lambert to die of star-
vation and exposure, still remain there as a terrible
Menno and Mennonites
In consequence of that event the Anabaptist move-
ment was to be found elsewhere as a peaceful enter-
prise under a new name. Menno Simons (1496-7 —
1561) of Witmason, Friesland, from whom the pres-
ent body of Mennonites is named, was the leader. As
a Catholic priest Simons became interested in Protes-
tantism and withdrew from the Catholic Church in
1536 as a culmination of his surprise and shock that
Sicke Frierichs, an Anabaptist, had been martyred in
1531 because of his theological views. Working quiet-
ly for fully a quarter of a century, Menno gathered the
scattered Anabaptists into associations and made new
converts throughout north Europe. He taught non-
resistance and an independent church with a baptized,
regenerate membership. Because of the degree of
tolerance in the Netherlands and the character of this
leader the followers of Menno grew into a strong or-
ganization. Dissension and new theological views
have come with the years, but the Mennonites, con-
tinuing the Anabaptists, today are essentially the same
as they were in the sixteenth century, precursors of
the modern Baptists.
Prior to the seventeenth century there were con-
gregations in London which had separated themselves
from the national Church of England and were called
Separatist congregations; but there is no valid his-
torical basis for designating any of them as a Baptist
church. As a matter of fact the first Baptist Church
in England had its beginning in Holland and was defi-
nitely influenced by the Mennonites.
Separatists in Holland
There were two companies of Separatists in Hol-
land. Beginning in 1593 after persecutions had driven
English dissenters into exile, one company banded
themselves together in Amsterdam with Francis John-
son as pastor. The Baptists are concerned primarily
with the second of the two companies of Separatists,
who emigrated to Holland from Gainsborough. It is
affirmed that at first this company augmented the first
Separatists, 1 and the subsequent controversy seems to
substantiate the assertion.
1. Crosby, History of the English Baptists, i, 91f. and 265f.,
quoted in Benedict, History of the Baptists (1848), 328.
English Baptists 11
John Smyth, who had the master's degree from Cam-
bridge University, and who formerly belonged to the
established church but later was pastor of the Sep-
aratist group in Gainsborough (1602), went to Amster-
dam with his congregation about 1606. Smyth had
rather well-defined ideas of the supremacy of the Scrip-
tures for the guidance of faith and practice and so
engaged in controversy with the older body of Sep-
aratists in Holland. Smyth rejected infant baptism.
He is called the "se-baptist" because he baptized him-
self, presumably by pouring ; he then baptized Thomas
Helwys and his thirty-seven other followers because
their former church connection was with "a false
church." This was in 1609.
Smyth, however, became dissatisfied with se-bap-
tism and with a considerable company, numbering
thirty-two persons, made application to join the Men-
nonite church. Nevertheless, Thomas Helwys and
John Murton, the two leaders of Smyth's movement,
were satisfied enough with their baptism to caution
the Mennonite brethren not to grant this request.
Smyth's group kept losing numbers and was unas-
sociated with the Mennonites when Smyth died in
First Baptist Church in England
Helwys and then Murton were leaders of many
like-minded persons who went back to London in 1611
and planted the first Baptist church of Englishmen on
English soil. Both Helwys and Smith were clear in
their pronouncement of the Baptist tenets of liberty
12 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
of conscience, the duty of following practices of New
Testament churches, and the Scriptural authority for
the churches, issued in their long Confession of Faith
in 1611. Those Baptists held to the general atonement
for all men, and hence were the beginning of the Gen-
eral Baptists. By 1626 when the General Baptists
were on friendly terms with the Mennonites, there were
five churches with about one hundred fifty members.
In 1644 the churches had increased to at least forty-
General and Particular Baptists
There were tw T o main theological distinctions
among the English Baptists until their union in 1891.
The General or Arminian Baptists were one company;
the Particular or Calvinistic Baptists were the other.
The Calvinistic company grew out of the Separatist
church of Henry Jacob in London in 1616. After
serving the church eight years, Jacob emigrated
to Virginia and was succeeded by John Lathrop who
later emigrated to New England, but who stayed in
England long enough to see the original church the
mother of the English Independents (Congrega-
tionalists) and of the Particular Baptists. In 1633 a
group of seventeen persons, some of whom held Bap-
tist views, peaceably withdrew from Lathrop's church.
They were reinforced with Anabaptists during the
pastorate of John Spilsbury, and before long the en-
tire church was Baptist, adopting immersion as the
mode of administration. This church held to the atone-
ment for the elect only and hence was the beginning
of the Particular Baptists.
English Baptists 13
The records of the church show that it was divided
by mutual consent in 1640. Four years later seven
Particular Baptist churches had been peaceably set
apart. These united in October, 1644, and adopted a
confession of Faith of fifty articles with signers like
the wealthy merchant-preacher, William Kiffen, and
the learned Hanserd Knollys. 1 This document is sig-
nificant primarily in stating believers' baptism by im-
mersion, which all Baptists seem to have adopted in
the course of a decade, and in advocating religious lib-
erty as tenets of the denomination, the first official
declaration of this doctrine by any body of Christians.
Baptists Prosper in Political Turmoil
Baptists were increasing in numbers and in pres-
tige because England with her Stuarts had enough
political and economic trouble without giving much
attention to dissenters. In the army there were Bap-
tist soldiers and officers who spread the gospel in Ire-
land and Scotland. John Myles founded a church in
Wales at Swansea in 1649, and to Vavasor Powell
(1617-1670) belongs the credit for churches multiply-
ing among Welchmen during the Commonwealth. Pow-
ell was of distinguished family and received the high-
est education, but he left the Church of England to
spread the gospel among the lowly. With zeal and
eloquence he preached throughout the country and
was called "the Whitfield of Wales." The first associa-
tion of Particular Baptists, the Somerset, 1653, soon
1. There were several editions. The second was signed
by the French Particular Baptists.
14 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
disappeared, but the Midland, 1655, sprang up to re-
main to this day.
As a group, Baptists were loyal to Cromwell though
some were opposed to making him king; and it is
stated that one of them, General Thomas Harrison,
second in command to Cromwell, and representing the
army, prevented the great Protector from carrying
out his ambitious purpose. During the reign of Charles
II the many imprisonments of John Bunyan, author of
Pilgrim's Progress and one of the most famous Bap-
tists of all time, are typical of the persecutions of the
Baptists arising from the passing in quick succession
of the Act of Uniformity (1662), the Conventicle Act
(1663), the Five Mile Act (1665), and the Test Act
Other Baptist Bodies
Other bodies formed organizations. The Seventh
Day Baptists were begun in 1676, and the Six-Principle
Baptists, emphasizing the laying on of hands as found
in Hebrews 6:1, 2, were numerous enough in 1690 to
form an association. The General Baptists had or-
ganized their General Assembly by 1671, which body
became more than advisory, claiming authority to set-
tle questions of conduct and belief, and thus negatived
the power of the local church. Their Confession was
issued in 1678, a year after the Particular churches
gave their Confession which was a modified form of
the Westminster Confession (Presbyterian, 1647),
and which was again adopted by them in 1689. This
document remains the basis of the English Con-
fessions as well as the doctrinal statement approved
by most Southern Baptists.
English Baptists 15
Among Baptists the custom of men and women sit-
ting on opposite sides of the church building, especially
in rural communities, dates back to the seventeenth
century. Of course, Baptists now usually do not follow
the Quaker garb, or fasting, foot washing, laying on
of hands, love feasts before the Lord's Supper, and
meddlesome inquiry into personal affairs of members
as practiced by these early Baptists.
Prosperity Retards Growth
As Bacon had testified more than a half century be-
fore that "prosperity doth best discover vice, but ad-
versity doth best discover virtue," so it was true that
with the Act of Toleration of 1689 the denomination
began to recede from its former developing position.
Since Baptists had gained in part the liberty which
had helped call them forth, evils grew among them.
In the eighteenth century anti-Trinitarian ideas
spread among the General Baptists, and by 1750 the
greater number of churches had become Unitarian.
Among the Particular Baptists hyper-Calvinism hin-
dered the cause especially as explained by John Brine
and John Dill, both men of long pastorates, deep piety,
and abiding influence. Doctor Dill was markedly the
most learned of the Baptists, and in his Body of Di-
vinity, 1769, and other writings his views on the doc-
trine of election that destroyed evangelism were ex-
pressed. His doctrine of predestination differed little
from fatalism and taught that God would save the
elect without human invitation to the sinner. More-
over, Baptists declined not only because of the
16 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
changed views relative to doctrinal tenets but be-
cause of the spiritual lethargy with its ration-
alistic Deism and the moral decay of the whole social
The Wesleyan Revival
Happily for the furtherance of religion John and
Charles Wesley and George Whitfield, all of the Holy
Club of Oxford, began a revival of religion that stirred
the hearts of two continents. John Wesley tells of
his conversion at a Moravian meeting in 1738: "I felt
my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in
Christ, Christ alone, for salvation." He began again
to preach, but now he was excluded from the pulpits of
the Church of England. With marvellous effect he
preached to crowds in the fields. During the revival
emotional experiences were transmitted through the
songs of Charles Wesley and by the preaching of John
Wesley and of Whitfield who, it was said, could make
his hearers weep or tremble by his varied utterances
of the word, Mesopotamia. 1 All classes were fervently
exercised. The intensity of the movement, with its
corresponding emphasis on the worth of an individual,
gave rise to the popular Methodist denomination, trans-
formed all denominations from worldliness and indif-
ference to spiritual life and activity and at the same
time had social implications which at length were ex-
pressed in reforms like the abolition of slavery in Ja-
maica and America and in missionary endeavors
throughout the world.
1. Tracey, The Great Awakening, 45n.
English Baptists 17
General Baptists and Dan Taylor
Dan Taylor, a convert of this revival, though an un-
educated miner, became the leading spirit among the
General Baptists, reviving the work in 1770 by the
formal organization of "The General Assembly of the
Free Grace General Baptists," commonly referred to
as the New Connexion. To his indefatigable labors as
home missionary, principal of their academy, and
editor of their magazine is largely due the success of
the General Baptists. At the age of seventy-eight he
died in 1816, the year that the General Baptist Mis-
sionary Society was founded.
Because of the revival the Particular Baptists
spread to Scotland where they became firmly estab-
lished in 1750 first in Keiss, in Carthenshire, and then
in Edinburgh, 1765, and Glasgow, 1768. Churches
multiplied there and elsewhere, due in no small degree
to two brothers, Robert and James Alexander Haldane.
The Baptist Home Mission Society was organized in
1779 to do distinctive home mission work. While pas-
tor of the church at Kettering, Andrew Fuller so in-
fluenced the thinking of the Particular Baptists of his
day that his mild form of Calvinism practically became
the rich heritage of all Baptists. His writings are still
extant abroad and in this country. He also traveled
extensively as secretary of the newly formed Baptist
Baptist Missionary Society and William Carey
The Baptist Missionary Society was the first or-
ganization to popularize missions to non-Christians
18 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
with a supporting constituency at the home base. Wil-
liam Carey was the father of this modern missionary
idea. In 1783 he had been baptized in the Neu River
by John Ryland who wrote in his diary: "This day
baptized a poor journeyman shoemaker." He became
a member of the church at Olney, John Sutcliffe, min-
ister, felt called to preach, and in 1787 was ordained
for the pastorate at Moulton at a yearly salary of
seventy-five dollars. With a wife and two children
Carey was forced to continue his trade while he
preached. He studied while he worked, mastering
five languages and becoming acquainted with the geog-
raphy of non-Christian lands through maps and
Cook's Voyages. His thoughts on the duty of evan-
gelizing the world had taken such shape that he was
requested to publish his manuscript on "An Inquiry
Into the Obligations of Christians to Use Means for
the Conversion of the Heathen." Shortly afterwards
he preached at the association in Nottingham, May 30,
1792, from Isaiah 44:2, 3, using the famous subject,
"Expect Great Things from God; Attempt Great
Things for God."
William Carey, the Missionary
Nevertheless, Baptists might have had no tangible
effects of this concern for missions had not Carey
prodded Andrew Fuller to do something. So on
October 2, 1792, twelve men met in the parlor of Mrs.
Beeby Wallis in Kettering, and formed the Baptist
Missionary Society, subscribing 13£, 2s and 6d for
missions. In June, 1793, Carey and John Thomas
sailed for India. Serampore finally became the station
English Baptists 19
of the mission, from time to time increased by as-
sociates from home. Carey devoted his life primarily
to Scripture translations into the Indian dialects and be-
fore long had rendered the Scriptures into forty-four
dialects. Because he had become one of the great
oriental scholars, Carey was made Professor of Bengali
at the College of Fort William, Calcutta. Full of years
and of honor, Carey died in 1834, the father of modern
missions. The society which he was instrumental in
founding now supports nearly two hundred European
missionaries in India (1793), Ceylon (1812), the West
Indies (1813), China (1859), and the Congo (1877).
The cause of missions and the entire Baptist group'
were strengthened by their great preachers. Some of
the best known were Robert Hall, pulpit orator,
Alexander McLaren, expounder of the Scriptures, John
Clifford, polished scholar, and Charles Haddon Spur-
geon, all outstanding theologians as well as preachers.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
From his first sermon in the historic Southwark
Church, London, in 1853, until his death there Charles
Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892) wrought a marvellous
and ever widening work. Only two hundred people
heard his first message at Southwark, but at the
height of his popularity he had a membership of over
five thousand who worshipped in the Metropolitan
Tabernacle, built by the congregation in 1861. Through
the press his sermons reached fully a half million more
20 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
people. Spurgeon was a philanthropist, the founder of
the Stockwell orphanages which have helped over five
hundred children annually for sixty-five years. Al-
though his formal education was not above our high
school, he evinced great interest in the educational
advancement of needy pastors through his monthly
magazine and a Colportage Association, providing free
gifts of books for ministers, and by establishing Pas-
tor's College for ministers in 1856.
Difficulty in educating Baptist ministers had been
early experienced. The national universities were
closed against dissenters ; so competent ministers of-
ten instructed clerical candidates. Some ministers
were educated at Scottish universities by Dr. Ward's
Trust Fund (1754), but the real solution of the prob-
lem was Baptist schools. Bristol College, 1770, was
the oldest. Other theological seminaries, called "col-
leges" by the English, are at Midland, Rawdon, Re-
gents' Park, Manchester, Cardiff, Bangor, Glasgow,
and Dublin. Their total enrollment hardly exceeds
Spurgeon and Baptist Doctrine
Spurgeon was distinguished not only as a preacher,
philanthropist, and educator, but as a liberal inter-
preter of Baptist doctrine. Admission to his communion
service was by ticket, issued to applicants from evan-
gelical churches who were expected to join the Tab-
ernacle should they desire the courtesy of communion
English Baptists 21
more than three months. This position was strikingly-
contrasted with the avowedly open communion of John
Bunyan and Robert Hall. Mixed memberships also
characterized some of the Baptist churches.
Increasing Union Among Baptists
More and more the distinctions between General
and Particular Baptists were disappearing, and, as has
been mentioned, the two bodies were united in 1891.
There was already a multiplicity of Baptist organiza-
tions. At the instance of Joseph Ivimey, Baptist his-
torian, a Baptist Union was begun in London in 1812
"to direct the public meetings of the various societies." 1
At the Union in 1832, 926 churches, 768 ministers be-
sides 120 New Connexion churches and 100 pastors
were reported. Both the General and Particular Bap-
tists united to administer their missionary and be-
nevolent enterprises through the Baptist Union. There
was also the Home Mission Society (1779) which
united in 1865 with the Irish Missionary Society
(1814) to form the British and Irish Baptist Home
Mission Society since merged with the Baptist Union
for Great Britain and Ireland which was incorporated
Another organization which remains to this day
had charge of the matter of Bible translation. A need
for the Scriptures in Wales and elsewhere prompted
a number of Christians through the labor of Joseph
Hughes of Battersea to meet in 1804 and form the
1. See Green, "English and Scotch Baptists during the
Nineteenth Century" in Newman, A Century of Baptist
Achievement, 37, 40f.
22 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
British and Foreign Bible Society, forerunner of all
similar organizations. Hughes was a Baptist, but his
non-denominational Society had aided the work of
Carey. The Society, however, refused the appeal to
aid in printing a revised edition of Carey's Bengali
Bible which translated the Greek word baptizo cor-
rectly and definitely "immerse" unless the translation
of that word be changed so as to be "unobjectionable"
to other denominations. No satisfactory reply was
given to the protests of the Baptists, and so on March
24, 1840, they formed the Bible Translation Society.
Baptists in the Colonies
English Baptists have followed the English Jack
and enroll among their number prominent men in all
walks of life, not only in the countries named but in
Canada since 1763 at Yarmouth and Horton; in Aus-
tralasia at Sidney, 1834, Melbourne, 1845, Moreton
Bay, 1856, and Adelaide, 1861; and in New Zealand,
Canadian Baptists enroll more communicants than
any of the other English domains. The Maritime
Provinces, the Provinces of Ontario and Quebec and
the Western Provinces are the divisions of their op-
erations. Generally the pioneer preachers were
American colonists although the earliest Baptist
preacher around Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, seems to
be Andres who came from Holland in 1752, and
around Ottawa they were converts of the Haldanes
English Baptists 23
of Scotland. Swiss and English Baptists were also
represented. Among the early churches the Horton,
reestablished in 1778, and the Haldimand, 1798, have
continued as fruitful mothers. Around the former
church developed the Nova Scotia and New Bruns-
wick Association in 1800, and around the latter grew
the Thurlow (later Haldimand) Association in 1803.
As the Baptists have multiplied they have formed
Boards, Schools, Conventions
The Association of Nova Scotia and New Bruns-
wick began to discuss education in 1828, the outgrowth
of which has been Horton Academy and Acadia Uni-
versity. These schools are sponsored by the Baptist
Convention, embracing these two provinces and Prince
Edward Island, which has continued since 1846 for the
Maritime Provinces and has been known since 1906
as the United Baptist Convention. The interest in
missions of its constituents dates back to 1815 and now
is expressed in a home and a foreign board for the
The Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec was
formed in 1888 and continues the previously existing
boards of Home Missions, Ministerial Superannuation,
Foreign Missions, Church Edifice and Publication. The
Board of Religious Education and of the Western Mis-
sion has been added. One of the features of this Con-
vention is the Grande Ligne Mission among the French
Catholics. The Baptists have labored there since 1848
with Madame Feller and M. Roussy, whose Institute
and Memorial Church stand as romantic challenges of
24 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
heroic spirits. Woodstock Academy, McMaster Uni-
versity, and Moulten (woman's) College are the edu-
cational projects of this convention.
Soon after organization the American Baptist Home
Mission Society began work in the Western Provinces
which in 1907 organized the Baptist Convention of
Western Canada by the consolidation of the earlier
convention of Manitoba and the Northwest (1884) and
of British Columbia (1897). Beginning with 1909
that body has become the Baptist Union of Western
Canada. All of these organizations have thriving
women's and young people's organizations.
According to the British Baptist Year Book for 1930
there are 1,283 churches, 821 ministers, and 142,834
members in Canada and 3,165 churches, 2,885 min-
isters, and 406,954 members in the British Isles. This
number totals practically one British Baptist for sev-
enteen members of the entire denomination. Vedder
suggests that this relatively small number of com-
municants is attributable to the fact that English Bap-
tists have not been strict doctrinarians. No one at-
tempts to gainsay that Englishmen interpret Baptist
doctrine quite liberally, but the land where Baptist
progress has become a popular movement has been
America where the democratic governmental environ-
ment has been conducive to Baptist growth.
BEGINNINGS IN AMERICA
Roger Williams was typical of the early Baptists of
the colonies, who had no status but rather a very pre-
carious existence in colonial times. He had no con-
nection with English Baptists and, after obtaining
the B. A. degree from Cambridge University in 1627
at twenty-seven years of age, became a dis-
senter and left England for a place more con-
ducive to his self-development. He landed in
Boston in 1631 and was soon the pastor of
the church at Salem whence he went to Plym-
outh and back again to Salem. The New England
theocracy was not to his liking, and he was banished
in 1635 presumably for advocating liberty of con-
science. Undaunted by dangers and a severe winter
he founded Providence in what is now the State of
Rhode Island where religious liberty was first pro-
claimed to the world in an official state document.
First Baptist Church in America
In March of 1639 Roger Williams was baptized by
Ezekiel Holliman, a former member of the Salem
Church, and Williams in turn baptized ten others. This
26 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
was the beginning of the first Baptist church in the
colonies. Probably this church organization was no
more stable than its founder, who, though continuing
in friendly relations with the Baptists, soon afterwards
became unconnected with any religious group and
ended his life as a "seeker," being in doubt as to
whether a proper administrator of baptism could be
found, but not as to immersion of believers.
The withdrawal of Williams undoubtedly weakened
the church, which nevertheless continued its existence
a number of years. Controversy over the laying on
of hands and the doctrines of the General Baptists,
introduced by William Wickenden, Chad Brown, and
Gregory Dexter, divided the church in 1652. There
are no existing church records beyond 1775 although
the subsequent development of the church after the
division seems to be on this wise. One group under
Thomas Olney, successor to Williams, became extinct
about 1720. The majority with Wickenden became
a Six-Principle church, insisting on the rite of laying
on of hands, but finally adopted Calvinism in 1771 un-
der the influence of President James Manning. It is
now known as the First Baptist Church of Providence.
The Six-Principle minority remains apart.
John Clark and the Newport Church
The First Baptist Church of Providence had a rival
for priority in the Baptist church at Newport, Rhode
Island, founded by John Clarke probably before 1644.
Among the leaders of this congregation until his death
in 1696 was Mark Lukar, a seceder from the church of
Spilsbury. Influenced by the division of doctrinal
Beginnings in America 27
opinion in the Providence Church, a controversy arose
in the Newport church about 1655 which resulted in
the organization of a Six-Principle church. Efforts to
project the influence of the Newport Church into
Massachusetts had been checked at Seekonk in 1649
and at Lynn in 1651. These failures and the suffer-
ings from the Massachusetts authorities are set forth
in "111 News from New England," written in England
while Clarke was there on business for the colony. His
labors in obtaining a charter for Rhode Island, where
he became deputy governor, easily distinguished him
as the leading Baptist of New England, though not as
well-known as Roger Williams. John Clarke remained
pastor until his death in 1676.
Early Massachusetts Baptists
In Massachusetts, Henry Dunster, A. M., the first
president of Harvard College, after twelve years of
popular and successful administration, was forced to
resign the presidency because he held to believers'
baptism only, and Obadiah Holmes, Clarke's successor,
was "well-whipped" at Lynn for holding the same
views and for preaching the gospel. Yet John Myles
of Wales came to Massachusetts with many members
from his church and settled in Rehoboth in 1663. Four
years later they moved to their grant of land on the
frontier of Rhode Island, which they named Swansea
in memory of the home church. This church exists to-
day. It was Calvinistic while an Arminian Swansea
Church began in 1685, and a Six-Principle church from
the Calvinistic body, in 1693. The First Baptist Church
of Boston was organized, May 28, 1665, with seven men
28 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
and two women in the home of Thomas Gould, a min-
ister who had been holding services in his own house
in Boston for several years. Although the Colony-
was divided in sentiment over adopting the Half-way
Covenant, which let down to some extent the strict re-
quirements for membership in the Puritan churches
and so for citizenship, they were united in insisting
that the Baptists "desist" from their services, but
the most severe punishment did not thwart them. By
February, 1679, they had completed a suitable frame
meeting house which the city authorities immediately
ordered closed. This order was enforced only one
Sunday. Two churches were formed in Massachusetts
among the Indians by 1694, one at Martha's Vine-
yard and the other on Nantucket Island. John Tack-
amason was the first Indian Baptist pastor of the for-
First Connecticut and New York Churches
Only here and there was to be found a Baptist
preacher, for the denomination numbered only a few
hundred in the seventeenth century. The first Bap-
tists in Connecticut were from Rhode Island, locating
a Six-Principle church at Groton in 1705. There fol-
lowed Calvinistic churches at New London (1710) and
Wallingford (1731). William Wickenden was the first
Baptist preacher in New York City, but a church was
not begun there until 1714 through the labors of Val-
entine Wightman, who had planted the work in Con-
necticut. The church at Oyster Bay, Long Island, fol-
lowed in 1724.
Beginnings in America 29
In Pennsylvania and New Jersey
The Quaker colonies of Pennsylvania, New Jersey,
and Delaware saw the greatest development of the co-
lonial Baptists because of their religious liberty. In
Pennsylvania, Baptist beginnings were made at Cold
Spring by Thomas Dungan in 1684. Before this church
became extinct Lower Dublin was organized at Penne-
peck in 1688. The First Church, Philadelphia, was
organized in 1689, but the members remained a part
of the Lower Dublin Church until 1746. The church
known as the Welch Tract Church began in Pem-
brokeshire, Wales, in 1701, and that year came to
Pennsylvania in a body. Baptists had been attracted
to New Jersey since 1660, organizing churches in
rapid succession at Middleton (1688), Piscataway
(1689), and Cohansey (1690).
Baptist interests centered around Philadelphia, the
religious melting pot of the colonies in the very heart
of things. Almost from the beginning of Baptists
there the churches had met together in general meet-
ings which became the Philadelphia Association in
1707. When that body adopted its Confession in 1742,
the Calvinism of that statement became one of its
gifts to the American churches of the Baptist per-
suasion. In nearly every ramification of Baptist de-
velopment has the widening influence of this first
American Baptist Association been felt.
30 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
Beginnings in the South
The Baptists in the South were weak. The be-
ginnings of the sect were due to settlers from Eng-
land and New England. South Carolina early received
both classes of these settlers, one company from
Somersetshire, led by Joseph Blake, brother of Crom-
well's admiral, and another, from Maine, by William
Screven, organizer of the Baptist church of Kittery.
To escape persecution in Maine, then a province of the
Massachusetts Colony, this latter group migrated to
the vicinity of Charleston, South Carolina, and Scre-
ven reorganized his church there in 1684. Migrants
from England introduced the Baptist cause in eastern
Virginia in 1714, and a generation later Baptist set-
tlers went from Maryland to Frederick County, Vir-
ginia. A Baptist church in North Carolina was formed
in Chowan County in 1727. It is estimated that be-
fore the Great Awakening, about 1740, hardly five
hundred people were Baptist, and that they had only
forty churches in the North and seven in the South,
divided into Calvinistic, Arminian, Six-Principle, and
Seventh Day Baptists.
The Great Awakening
The colonies were ready for spiritual awakening.
Beginning with the powerful Jonathan Edwards at
Northampton, Massachusetts, and electrified by the
eloquence of Whitfield and others, there was a pro-
found spiritual reaction from the indifference and
worldliness of the churches. In the excitement of
the meetings the people jerked and shouted and
Beginnings in America 31
swooned because their sins were forgiven. Lo-
renzo Dow adds: "I have seen all denominations of re-
ligion exercised with the jerks, gentleman and lady,
black and white, young and old, without exception."
Baptists and the Great Awakening
At first the Baptists took no part in the Awaken-
ing partly because of their theological beliefs. Some
preferred to hold aloof as the "Regulars," but others,
labelling themselves "New Lights" or "Separates,"
participated in the revival. Because of this participa-
tion and the dissension respecting the revival among
the Congregationalists, Baptists became one of the
popular denominations with distinguished leaders and
increased numbers. There was Isaac Backus (1724-
1806) who came to the Baptists from the Congrega-
tionalists and used his great power as pastor, evangel-
ist, historian, and spokesman of religious liberty, and
Hezekiah Smith (1737-1805), evangelist and pastor
who spread the opinions of the Philadelphia Associa-
tion by extensive journeys through the South, and
from his pastorate in Haverhill, Massachusetts,
through northern New England. A man of wide in-
terests, of boundless energy and of fine judgment was
he. By 1768 there were 30 Baptist churches in Mas-
sachusetts, 12 in Connecticut, and 36 in Rhode Island
where the Warren Association had been formed at
Warren in 1767. There was a Baptist church formed at
Newton, New Hampshire, and at Groton, Maine, and
later at Guilford, Vermont. The first known instance of
a Negro as a Baptist was during the Awakening in con-
nection with the Newton, Rhode Island, Church where
Ihort History of the Baptist Denomination
Quassey was one of the fifty-one constituent mem-
bers in 1743. x The Philadelphia Association extended
its usefulness from Virginia to New England, enroll-
ing in all 32 churches and 3392 members.
The numerical increase of Baptists led to the es-
tablishment of schools to send forth leaders for the
churches. An academy was started at Hopewell, New
Jersey, by Isaac Eaton in 1756 and continued eleven
years. Others followed. Graduates of this school in-
clude James Manning and Hezekiah Smith, the first
president and financial agent respectively of what has
become Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island.
Morgan Edwards (1772-1795), recruited from England
for the Philadelphia church and later perpetuator of
the sources of denominational history in his volumes
of Materials toward a History of the Baptists, first
suggested the idea of a Baptist college to the Phila-
delphia Association. The result was the founding of
Rhode Island College which received her charter in
1764 and was later, in 1804, named Brown University.
Baptists have since controlled the institution, but
Quakers, Congregationalists, and Episcopalians have
shared in its development as stipulated in the char-
Early Associations in the South
Some New Lights from New England settled in Vir-
ginia with Shubal Stearns and Daniel Marshall, as lead-
1. Edwards, Materials toward a History of the Baptists
in Rhode Island, iv, 344f., 346.
Beginnings in America 33
ers. The Separate churches which they started were
constantly opposed by the Regulars until the two fac-
tions reached a working agreement as they did in
the United Baptist Church of Christ in 1787. Other
Baptists visited the South and established churches
there; so there were twenty-four associations
of Baptist churches in the South, east of the
Alleghanies in the eighteenth century, the earliest
being the Charleston, South Carolina, (1751), the
Sandy Creek, North Carolina, (1758), the Kehukee,
North Carolina, (1765), and the Ketockton, Virginia,
Baptists and the Revolution
Baptists everywhere espoused the cause of the col-
onies during the American Revolution. Whether
making sentiment for the grievances of the colonies
like Oliver Hart and Richard Furman, Sr., or bear-
ing arms like David Barrow, or recruiting a company
like Elder McClanahan, or serving as chaplain like
Hezekiah Smith, Baptists spread their doctrine of the
disestablishment of a state church. The service to
the nation of the New England and especially Vir-
ginia Separates in promoting civil and religious lib-
erty won a victory for the denomination, and it is
not surprising that many believed that Baptists in-
fluenced the Federal Constitution which removed all
ecclesiastical disabilities from the land.
Baptists and the Negro
It may be that because of this Negroes who were
slaves could reason that the hope of their freedom lay
34 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
with the Baptists. Probably the appeal to the com-
mon people by the Baptists, their simplicity of organi-
zation, inexpensiveness of operation, and ceremonial
of baptism appealed to the African. It was easy for
the Negro to adjust his religion to the new faith.
Christianity met all the tests of his religious nature in
providing help in his miserable slave state, a spirit-
ual, though otherworldly explanation of all things, and
an emotional experience hitherto unfelt. As a matter
of fact, the emotionalism of the white people sur-
passed anything that Negroes have since attained, 1 but
the latter without schools until recently have allowed
the emotional element to dominate their religious life.
So the Baptists were confronted with the problems of
the Negro as a church member with all of the respon-
sibility of conversion, discipline, and instruction.
Negroes in White Churches.
Negroes not only became constituent members of a
number of Baptist churches but joined the churches
after they were constituted. Robert Stevens was a
member of the First Church, Providence, some time
before 1762, and previous to the American Revolu-
tion there were eighteen other such members. The
First Church, Boston, received Negroes as early as
1772. In the South some Negroes formed a Look-out
Committee to promote "love, obedience and fear"
among the slaves, to "cite" disorderly Negro members
and often non-members before the church, and to be
1. See, A Brief Narrative of the Revival of Religion in
Beginnings in America 35
a kind of "deacon" to keep an eye on the black mem-
bers of the church and community.
Early Negro Preachers
Negroes began to exhort soon after conversion. The
religious leaders were already on the plantations as
survivals of the African tribal priests, and these men
became the earliest apostles of comfort, unification,
and inspiration. There were different types of
preachers then as now. In Virginia alone there were
at least two Negro pastors of white churches. William
Lemon, a "lively and affecting" man of color was pas-
tor of the church at Gloucester or Pettsworth, some-
times called Ware. He represented the church in the
Dover Association on several occasions, from 1797 to
1803. x Jacob Bishop, an itinerant preacher at Magotty
Bay Church, Northampton County, was another. His
preaching around Norfolk attracted such attention
that he was called to the Baptist church in Ports-
mouth. 2 It was to be expected that the earliest Negro
preachers and churches would arise in the South and
in the rural districts.
First Negro Churches
The mother of Negro Baptist beginnings in South
Carolina, Georgia, Canada, Africa, and the West In-
dies is traced to the Silver Bluff Church, Aiken County,
South Carolina, twelve miles from Augusta, Georgia.
It was organized on the estate of Mr. George Galphin
1. Minutes Dover Baptist Association, 1797-1804.
2. Semple, 355.
36 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
about 1773. George Liele, a pioneer Negro, and Elder
Palmer, a white pastor, were preachers in those parts.
At one meeting there were eight converts among whom
was David George who "had the whole management,
and used to preach among them" as the Revolution
drew on. Jesse Peters (Galphin) was also of this
In Nova Scotia
Mr. Galphin was a British sympathizer and left
home when he thought his life in danger. George, his
family, and about fifty slaves from Silver Bluff went
to the British forces around Savannah, later going to
Charleston, South Carolina, whence the British gave
them free passage to Nova Scotia in 1782. It may be
that their presence in Charleston influenced the build-
ing of a Negro Baptist Church there in 1792 on land
given by the city. In Nova Scotia the first (Negro)
Baptist church, Shelburne, was established by those
immigrants in 1783 with outstations at St. John's,
Frederick Town, and Preston.
The climate in Canada was too severe for them;
they were cruelly treated. So 1196 of them, whose num-
ber had been greatly augmented by British Negro sym-
pathizers from the colonies, embarked for Sierra Le-
one, West Africa, in January, 1792, leaving the church
in Canada with only four members in 1794 under
Henry Chipman, pastor. After a wearisome voyage
of seven weeks during which many died, David George
planted the first Baptist Church in Sierra Leone on
the first Lord's Day there. After three years the
newly organized Baptist Missionary Society of Eng-
Beginnings in America 37
land sent two workers to Sierra Leone to help in this
work which has continued to this day.
In Jamaica and the Bahamas
George Liele began preaching on plantations near
Savannah between 1778 and 1782, during which time
he organized a Negro Baptist church in Savannah.
This society included members from Silver Bluff.
Liele was engaged in a financial controversy and was
forced to go to Jamaica to pay his debt. He reached
Kingston in 1782 and organized a church there with
his companions from Savannah. He also petitioned
the Baptist Missionary Society to send workers. There
was also a similar work done in the Bahama Islands
by loyalist Negroes.
Silver Bluff and Bead River, South Carolina
The Silver Bluff Church lived again in Edgefield
County after the Revolution. Asplund states that it
was constituted in 1781, and probably Jesse Peters
was pastor. He was the pastor in 1792 when the
church had two hundred ten members. The tradi-
tion of the section is that Silver Bluff had a continued
existence at Stormbranch and at Seven Springs. Later
the Seven Springs church was located on a still branch
of the Savannah River, called Dead River, which name
a church about five miles from Augusta still retains. 1
1. The corner stone of this church, laid when the build-
ing was remodelled in 1920 erroneously states that the church
was organized by Peters in 1750.
38 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
In Augusta, Georgia
As the population was shifting to the towns and
cities, a group in Georgia, which was also to con-
tinue the organization of the Silver Bluff Church, was
in Augusta holding meetings in private dwellings. They
were organized in 1790-1 as the Springfield Baptist
Church. Jesse Peters was pastor although he did not
relinquish his work at Silver Bluff and at one or two
of his other churches until later. During the early
history of the Dead River Church it was connected
with the Springfield Church which continues until this
One of the last acts of Liele before his departure
for Jamaica was to baptize Andrew, Hannah, his wife,
and Hagar, all slaves of Mr. Jonathan Bryan, and
Kate, belonging to Mrs. Eunice Hogg. Andrew Bryan
began to exhort and to hold meetings with great dif-
ficulty. Thomas Burton, an aged Baptist minister,
visited them in 1785 and baptized eighteen just three
years prior to their constitution as the present First
African Baptist Church of Savannah, begun with
eighty members, January 20, 1788, by Abraham Mar-
1. For details of this storv see, Rippon, The Baptist An-
nual Register, 1790-1793, 475ff.; ibid, i, 333f., 335f., 343L,
474-481, 541; Asplund, Register, 1794, 50, 68, 92; Hoare,
Memoirs of Granville Sharpe, Esq., 274-292; Wigfall, A Brief
History of Dead River Baptist Church; Brooks, The Silver
Beginnings in America 39
Other Early Negro Churches
It would not be surprising if some undiscovered
document should reveal a Negro church organization
prior to the Silver Bluff Church, for the Negro church
arose during the Great Awakening. But none could
be found that was more fruitful than this first known
organization of Negroes, although contemporary-
Negro churches were numerous. In Virginia both the
present Harrison Street and the Gilfield churches
claim priority. The Gilfield Church (1774), how-
ever, was the first church of Negroes in Petersburg to
continue the organization of free Negroes and of race
conscious slaves who had been connected with neigh-
boring churches before 1760. The Williamsburg (1776)
and the King and Queen (1782) churches have be-
come extinct. In the North the African (1805), Bos-
ton, the Abyssinian (1808), New York City, and the
First African (Cherry Memorial, 1809), Philadel-
phia, were constituted with Negro members from
neighboring white churches. It is estimated that there
were 25,000 Negro Baptists in 1800.
With both prestige and numbers Baptists, as other
denominations, had their greatest challenge among the
peoples of the receding frontier. There among
thousands of enterprising and enthusiastic folk who
had migrated because of economic reasons or of so-
cial maladjustments, seeking adventure and loving
freedom, was an opportunity to propagate the faith in
a section which has determined the character of many-
Early Churches in Kentucky
The first settlers in Kentucky and Tennessee in-
cluded many Baptists from Virginia and North Caro-
lina. It was about the time of the Revolution that
regular preaching was first held in Kentucky though
not until June, 1781, that the first church, Severns
Valley, was established. That same year Lewis
Craig led most of his church, formerly of Spottsyl-
vania County, Virginia, into Kentucky. The first set-
tlement was at Gilbert's Creek in December where
Lancaster, Garrard County, is now located. There
the Head of Boone's Creek Church was organized about
five miles from Lexington. Peter, Craig's slave, bet-
ter known as "Brother Captain" or "Old Captain,"
Propagating the Faith 41
was one of the constituent members. He had been
dispatched by Craig the year previous to raise a crop
in Kentucky for his master. The Indians destroyed
it, and Peter returned to Virginia in time to be the
guide of Craig's 'Traveling Church." Finally settling
in Lexington, Captain began to exhort in his own
rude cabin and in the houses of other Negroes from
1790 to 1797. Although unordained, he baptized his
converts, who about 1801 erected a rude structure on
what is now Maxwell Street. From then on the Afri-
can or First Baptist Church of Lexington and the first
Negro church west of the Alleghanies took definite
One of the first objects of the Kentucky churches
was to form associations for mutual helpfulness. The
Elkhorn (Regular), 1785, the Salem (Regular), 1785,
and the South Kentucky (Separate), 1787, were the
earliest. After several attempts to unite the Regular
and Separate Baptists, union was perfected by the
Elkhorn and South Kentucky associations in 1801. A
great revival of religion was sweeping over the West
so that in 1803 there were 10 associations, 219
churches, and 15,495 members.
As in Kentucky, so in Tennessee, the Baptists were
not among the first settlers. Their first two churches
1. About 1829 followers of Captain became known as the
Pleasant Green Church while the African Church remained
with Loudon Ferrill, pastor.
42 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
in East Tennessee were broken up about the time of
the Revolution, but one of them, the Glade-Hollows,
was reconstituted following the War. Permanent
church organization began with the Buffalo Ridge
(Boone's Creek) in 1780. The following year there
were five or six churches which retained connection
with the Sandy Creek Association of North Carolina
until 1786 when their Holston Association was formed.
The Head of Sulphur Fork Church, commonly called
Dorris' church from her pastor, Joseph Dorris, went
to West Tennessee from North Carolina in 1795.
Joining with four other churches in this Cumberland
section, the earliest dating from 1791, this church
formed the Mero Association in 1796 which grew to
18 churches and about 1200 members in five years.
Frontier Preachers and Churches
The developments on the frontier in Kentucky and
Tennessee were not more singular than elsewhere. The
virginity of the country demanded the most rigid
lives of the preachers. They traveled on horseback
and in boats, exposed to the rigors of climate and dis-
ease. Their living derived from farming and hunting
was augmented by a subscription, but they preached
because they were called. The condition of the times
made an itinerating ministry necessary, with churches
located generally on streams so as to be accessible.
The weaknesses of the frontier churches account for
their need of associations, which, however, were fre-
quently rent by divisions not so much because of doc-
trinal reasons, as for lack of agreement respecting
social questions like missions and slavery. The
Propagating the Faith 43
frontiersmen permitted women to play some part in
The associations touched the life of the people.
Their annual gatherings in camp meetings where for
several days crowds from the surrounding country as-
sembled, some living in temporary houses constructed
for the occasion, attracted the devout and the curious.
The preachers could speak with unrestrained emo-
tion, for the heavens were their sounding boards, and
the valleys, their audience chambers. To break the
monotony of frontier life, to hold fellowship friend
with friend, and to partake of the communion and all
of the emotionalism of the earlier revivals was enough
to justify the meetings.
Early Churches in North Central States
That territory northwest of the Ohio River, out of
which came the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois,
Michigan, and Wisconsin, provided further oppor-
tunity to spread the faith among the frontier people.
Just a few months after the earliest settlement at
Marietta, Ohio, a company from Connecticut, New
York, and New Jersey settled at Columbia within
what is now Cincinnati. The first Baptist church in
the Northwest Territory was organized there in 1790
and still exists as the Duck Creek Church. In 1797
44 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
the first general association of the Northwest, the
Miami, was formed of four churches, embracing Cin-
cinnati and the Miami valley regions. The first as-
sociation of Negro Baptists in the United States was
the Providence Anti-slavery Baptist Association of
Ohio, organized in 1834.
The first Indiana church was begun on Silver Creek
in 1798. Along the Wabash churches were formed be-
tween the years 1806 and 1808 so that the Wabash
Association was formed of five churches in 1808. In-
diana had the distinction of the ministry of Isaac Mc-
Coy, first Baptist missionary to the Indians, and of
vying with New York in establishing the first anti-
slavery college for the education of all colors and both
sexes in 1848. The worth of a man and of a woman
went together, but like the New York Central Col-
lege at McGrawville, the Eleutheian College, begun
by Thomas Craven and his son, J. G. Craven, at Lan-
caster, Jefferson County, Indiana, had not suf-
ficient funds to keep it alive. The school, at length
abandoned, prepared Moses Broyles for the leadership
of the Negro Baptists in Indiana.
The Baptists in Illinois began with the Lemen family
at Piggot's Fort in 1786. Being visited by several
ministers at the Fort and in the log-house of James
Lemen, aggressive anti-slavery leader, the group was
augmented by the coming of David Bagley from Vir-
Propagating the Faith 45
ginia who formed the New Design Church in May,
1796. The Illinois Association was formed in 1807.
McCoy preached the first sermon in Chicago in 1825.
In Illinois the second oldest association among Negroes
formed was the Wood River, organized in 1839.
In Michigan and Wisconsin
Michigan and Wisconsin were more destitute than
other sections of the Northwest, and so the feeble be-
ginnings of the Baptists there did not head into as-
sociations until the Michigan in 1827 and the Wiscon-
sin in 1838 were organized.
Among the galaxy of pioneers who risked life and
fortune in order to carry out their holy orders to win
the frontier for their denomination, Protestantism,
and Christ, none is more distinguished than Joseph
Willis (1762-1854), a free Negro from South Carolina.
As a licensed preacher he appeared in Mississippi with
other migrants in 1798, while this territory did not
belong to the United States. From the southwestern
part of that territory he went forth as an apostle to
the Opelousa Indians in 1804 and was the first Protes-
tant person to preach west of the Mississippi in what
is now Louisiana. After seeking ordination for years,
he was finally ordained in 1812 and with six members
constituted the first Baptist church in Louisiana at
Bayou Chicot, November 13 of that year. The founda-
tion was thus laid for other churches in the State
which came together as the Louisiana Association in
46 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
1818. Joseph Willis became its moderator and was
active in its growth.
Organized Home Missions
In the midst of what seemed to be an unorganized
way of propagating the faith, an event of far-reaching
consequence was transpiring across the sea. Wil-
liam Carey, the English cobbler, made Christians
feel the burden of non-Christians wherever they
were found through the organization of the
Baptist Missionary Society. Societies for the
spread of the gospel sprang up like mushrooms, but
many of their lives were as perennial as the oaks. The
formation of a mission society of Baptists and Pres-
byterians in New York in 1796 was the earliest or-
ganized effort on the part of the denomination. The
Massachusetts Baptist Missionary Society, formed in
1802, had for its object "to furnish occasional preach-
ing, and to promote the knowledge of evangelical
truth in the new settlements within these United
States; or further, if circumstances should render it
proper." For twelve years thereafter missionary fer-
vor grew and crystallized until the entire denomina-
tion formed the Triennial Convention in 1814. Al-
though its immediate object was the non-Christian
lands, in 1817 it appointed John Mason Peck and James
E. Welch, his brother-in-law, missionaries to the West.
John Mason Peck
John Mason Peck was born in Litchfield, Connec-
ticut, on October 31, 1789, and joined the Congrega-
Propagating the Faith 47
tional Church there at eighteen years of age. Re-
moving with his wife to Windham, New York, in
1811, he came in touch with the Baptists through the
pastor of New Durham, an adjoining town. He
studied the Scriptures, was baptized, and the next
day preached his first sermon on invitation of the
church. He was ordained to the ministry at Cats-
kill in 1812.
Leaving a short pastorate, he devoted himself to
mission work. After a year of study under Doctor
Staughton, of Philadelphia, he was ready for his life's
work in the West. None but a hero buoyed up by
faith would have set out for the frontier in a covered
wagon with wife and three children on a long
journey of twelve hundred miles to St. Louis where
there were "men with bark on." Yet Peck did. It
took him from July 25 to December 1 to make the
journey. His brother-in-law had preceded him. By
February, 1818, he had organized the First Baptist
Church of St. Louis.
First African Church of St. Louis
In the first baptism ever witnessed in St. Louis or
its vicinity, a Negro was one of the two candidates.
He at once became an assistant in Peck's Negro Sab-
bath school, begun in 1818 for the Negro communi-
cants of the First Church. The work progressed de-
spite the threats of citizens and formed a branch of
the white church in 1822, receiving monthly visits
48 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
from Peck. John Berry Meachum, a free Negro, was
ordained in 1825 to become the pastor of the then
constituted First African Church of St. Louis which
Peck was a man of varied interests. One of his most
promising projects was the theological seminary begun
at Rock Spring, Illinois. Nevertheless, he and his as-
sociate had been continued with the Convention hardly
two years before aid was withdrawn. He refused the
opportunity to join Isaac McCoy in his labors among
the Indians at Fort Wayne and remained in Illinois,
but under the auspices of the Massachusetts Mission-
ary Society, receiving five dollars a week.
American Baptist Home Mission Society
After nine years in the West, Peck returned to the
East with splendid talking points about the West as
a place to work out the mission plan. The Triennial
Convention could do nothing; but the home mission
idea had ready reception with Dr. Jonathan Going,
the successful pastor at Worcester. After some years
he obtained a leave of absence from his church to
visit the West under the auspices of the Massachu-
setts Society. With Peck he drafted a plan for a so-
ciety which was approved by others. A committee
called a convention in New York City where on April
27, 1832, the American Baptist Home Mission Society
was organized "to promote the preaching of the gos-
pel in North America." Doctor Going became the
Propagating the Faith 49
corresponding secretary with headquarters in New
York City where they have remained.
Its First Work
Though there were thirty-seven workers of the So-
ciety on the frontier during this first year, Peck was
the leader and was indefatigable in his labors. Founder
of Shurtleff College, organizer of the Illinois Educa-
tion Society, publisher, editor, and author are only a
partial list of his titles to grateful remembrance. He
died in 1856.
Isaac McCoy Among the Indians
In 1817 a few months after Peck's appointment
Isaac McCoy received a year's commission from the
Triennial Convention as a missionary among the In-
dians of Indiana and Illinois. Laboring a short time
in Western Indiana, McCoy started a school at Fort
Wayne. Later at Niles, Michigan, and elsewhere, but
always with great success, McCoy gave his active life
for the welfare of the vanishing red men. A typical
example of his labors was the organization of the first
Baptist church in Indian territory, the Muscogee (Ebe-
nezer) on September 9, 1832, of three whites and three
Negro slaves to the Indians, a beginning which has be-
come the seed of eleven hundred other churches.
Work of the Home Mission Society
Besides the missionaries on the frontier the Home
Mission Society had fifty missionaries laboring in the
50 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
Northern States and several in the Southern States
during its first year. Organizing churches in cen-
ters like Cleveland, Indianapolis, Louisville, Detroit,
and Chicago was one of its first objects. No strategic
place in the entire country was intentionally neg-
Yet a peculiar phenomenon was developing among
the Baptists. 1 A considerable number bitterly opposed
the missionary movement after they saw its social
consequences. Of course, there was a theology to sup-
port the claim of the opposition that God's revelation
of salvation was to His elect who needed no human
aid. Certainly there was no Scriptural warrant for the
missionary organizations as projected, but those ob-
jections were probably afterthoughts of the anti-mis-
sion Baptists. There, in a section of the country out
of touch with the educational and cultural influences
of the East, the anti-missionists became jealous and
selfish when a better educated and paid ministry
came among them. So whether confusing the mission
agencies with the abolitionist societies or attacking
the centralized authority of the former, the anti-mis-
sion Baptists had tireless champions in John Taylor,
Daniel Parker, and Alexander Campbell. With his "Re-
formers" Campbell, nominally a Baptist from 1813 to
1833, even though the Redstone Association of West-
1. See, "The Rise of the Anti-Mission Baptists: A Frontier
Phenomenon" in Sweet, Religion on the American Frontier:
The Baptists, 1783-1830.
Propagating the Faith 51
ern Pennsylvania withdrew the hand of fellowship
in 1827, unintentionally started what became another
denomination. Although the followers of Campbell,
the Disciples, reversed his stand on missions, their
other tenets advocated through the Millennial Har-
binger, such as the abolition of creeds and of relating
one's experience before baptism, and the claim of re-
storing the ancient gospel, were plausible enough in
three years to break the denominational bands of ten
thousand Baptists in Kentucky alone.
Thomas Paul and the Haitian Mission
Until the Home Mission Society was organized the
real interest of local and national mission societies
was in non-Christian lands. In 1823 Thomas Paul,
pastor of the African Baptist Church, Boston, of-
fered his services to the Massachusetts Missionary So-
ciety to investigate religious conditions in Haiti. His
church granted him a leave of absence for that serv-
ice which he fulfilled in eight months. No further
steps were taken by the Society, although the African
Church made contributions to the Society for years
afterwards. Until American Baptists had their own
missionaries they contributed to the cause of missions
through the English Society.
The career of Adoniram Judson changed things. A
graduate of Brown and later a special student in
Andover Theological Seminary, his conviction of the
obligation of Christians to i propagate the faith with
that of his other schoolmates, Hall, Newell, and Nott,
52 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
led to the formation of the American Board of Com-
missioners for Foreign Missions, the Congregational
Society which appointed these four their mission-
aries in 1811. In 1812 eight persons, including
Adoniram Judson and his wife, Ann Hasseltine Jud-
son, all Congregationalists, were sent to Calcutta,
India, where some English Baptists were laboring. The
party sailed by two ships. On shipboard both Judson
and his wife underwent a change of views respecting
baptism by the study of the Scriptures. So after be-
ing convinced at Calcutta that Baptist views were
Scriptural, they were baptized by William Ward on
September 6, 1812. When the ship bearing Luther
Rice arrived, he made known his identical experience
and was baptized November 1.
The Triennial Convention
The news of the baptism of Rev. and Mrs. Judson
and Rev. Mr. Rice reached America early in 1813. Dr.
Thomas Baldwin of Boston, editor of the Massa-
chusetts Baptist Magazine, to whom Judson had writ-
ten, called a meeting that year out of which came
the Baptist Society for Propagating the Gospel in In-
dia and Other Foreign Parts for the support of the
Judsons. Other societies were formed especially af-
ter the arrival in America of Luther Rice in Sep-
tember. His gripping appeals by visitation through
the East, Middle West, and South resulted in thirty-
three delegates, representing eleven states, meeting in
Philadelphia, May 18, 1814, and organizing the Gen-
eral Missionary Convention of the Baptist Denomina-
tion in the United States of America for Foreign Mis-
Propagating the Faith 53
sions, commonly called the Triennial Convention be-
cause of the interval between its meetings. Richard
Furman of South Carolina was president, Thomas
Baldwin of Massachusetts was secretary, Luther Rice,
agent, and the Judsons, then in Ragoon, Burma, were
accepted as missionaries.
By 1834 Judson had made his most far-reaching
contribution to missions, the translatjjMr^fsthe Bible
ijtfo Burmese. The American Bible Society (1816)
of which the Baptists were constituent mem-
bers with seven denominations, made substan-
tial contribution to the printing and circula-
tion of that translation. It would rightly be
supposed that Judson's rendering of "baptize" and
its cognates would leave no doubt as to the original
meaning, by using the Burmese word for immersion,
but when in 1835 the Society refused aid to the Eng-
lish Baptists for their similar translation of the Ben-
gali Scriptures a controversy was begun which lasted
nearly fifty years. The American Baptists organized
the American and Foreign Bible Society in Philadel-
phia in April, 1837, which came to agree to a faith-
ful rendering of the original text in foreign transla-
tions, but that the English Scriptures "be restricted
to the commonly received version, without note or com-
ment." Two days after this vote had been taken on
May 25, 1850, the American Bible Union was organ-
ized to render all versions accurately with the word
immerse or immersion or their equivalents in the
language of the version. The conflict seemed near di-
54 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
viding the denomination and was not ended until 1883
when the Missionary Union became responsible for
foreign Bible work and the Publication Society, for the
English Scriptures, each Society to circulate the
version with the rendering baptize or that with the
rendering immerse according to the demand for each
and according to the funds designated for either
Foreign Mission Fields
\ Until 1845 when the Southern states formed their
own Convention, the Triennial Convention remained
the official medium of the denomination for foreign
missions having relinquished its earlier attempts at
home missions and education. Its endeavors were
at first concentrated among the Burmese and Karens
after the establishment of that mission in 1828 by
George Dana Boardman. Other missions were in
Africa (1821), in Siam (1833), in Arracan (1835), in
China (1834) by William Dean at Bangkok who moved
to Hong Kong in 1842 and in Assam (1836).
Lott Gary and Africa
The African Mission is singular in that directly and
indirectly it influenced Negro Baptists who were a part
of the mission movement from the first. The Rich-
mond African Baptist Missionary Society, which was
organized about 1815, appropriated about seven hun-
dred dollars to the Triennial Convention to send mem-
bers of its own race, Lott Cary and Colin Teague, to
Africa. In 1821 they went out with colonists under
Propagating the Faith 55
the auspices of the Convention and of the then pop-
ular American Colonization Society and planted the
first Baptist church in Monrovia that year. Cary,
a man, as Newman says, of marked ability and high
character, had become the Lieutenant Governor of Li-
beria, but was killed in 1828 in preparing ammuni-
tion to quell a native uprising. 1 The influence of this
beginning was marked. For over twenty years the
African Society was represented in the Convention.
The example of this Richmond Society was copied by
the African Church of Philadelphia and by the Gil-
field Church of Petersburg, the latter organization de-
fraying the expense of Colston W. Waring to Africa
in 1823. Negroes all over the country sent contribu-
tions to the Convention to spread the gospel. 2
1. See my article, "Lott Cary, the Colonizing Missionary"
in the Journal of Negro History, vii, 380-418, 427-448.
2. August 5, 1816, the Negro Baptists of Warren County,
North Carolina, contributed $5.15; August 18, of the County
Line Association, Caswell County, North Carolina, 69 cents;
September 1, of the Shiloh Association, Culpepper, Virginia,
$1.90; October 21, of the Pee Dee Association, Montgomery
County, North Carolina, $2.19; May 7, 1817, "a Col. worn."
of Georgia, $1.00; June 2, "Coloured Brethren" of Sunbury
Association Georgia, $21.00; June 16, "a man of colour, 15
cts." — a woman of col., 6 cts.; and August 1, "a man
of col., 25 cts." Third Annual Report Baptist Board of
Foreign Missions, 146-149; Fourth Annual Report, 206, 208.
THE SLAVERY CONTROVERSY
Early Baptists and Slavery
Roger Williams did not spare his words as early as
1637 against the enslavement of the Pequot Indians,
but he did not include the African in his protest.
Though the Negroes of Providence Plantation were
granted freedom by the statute of 1652, men of dis-
tinction in the denomination thought nothing of slav-
ery until the Revolution was drawing on. Three well-
known slaveholders were Henry Sater, founder of the
first church in Chestnut Ridge, Maryland, 1742; Sam-
uel Stillman, for over forty years pastor of the First
Church, Boston, and Hezekiah Smith, who has this
reference to a Negro boy of fourteen in his diary:
"Fri. 3 May, 1776— Sold Cato to my brother Peter for
125 dollars and returned the same day to N. Y."
After the Revolution with its emphasis on the
rights of man the same men reversed their positions
and came abreast of the humanitarian and reform
movements of the times. The Sater family like others
freed their slaves as fast as they could. At the War-
ren Association in 1787 at which Hezekiah Smith took
a part in the deliberations, Doctor Stillman desired all
the Association "to guard against giving the least
countenance to the heaven-daring wickedness." A
The Slavery Controversy 57
complete list of anti-slavery Baptists with Robert
Carter, William Staughton, John Asplund, Thomas
Chisman, David Barrow, James Manning, Isaac Bac-
kus, William Rogers, and John Leland would seem like
a catalogue. So would the names of churches and as-
sociations both here and abroad that voiced a protest
against slavery. Notwithstanding, the irony of the
whole affair was that successful Negro Baptist pas-
tors like Andrew Bryan of the First African Church,
Savannah, Georgia; Daniel Jackson of the Harrison
Street Church, Petersburg, Virginia, and John Berry
Meachum of the First African Church, St. Louis,
Missouri, themselves held slaves far into the nine-
Typical Anti-Slavery Resolution
A typical resolution of the South respecting slavery
might be the one of the General (Virginia) Commit-
tee, introduced by John Leland in 1789 and represent-
ing four associations: "Resolved, that slavery is a
violent deprivation of the rights of nature and incon-
sistent with a republican government, and therefore
recommend it to our brethren, to make use of every
legal measure to extirpate this horrid evil from the
land; and pray Almighty God that our honorable
legislature may have it in their power to proclaim the
great Jubilee, consistent with the principles of good
Slavery, A Southern Institution
After 1783 all of the interest on behalf of the
slaves was not the result of humanitarian spirit. Slav-
58 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
ery was unprofitable in the North and had not secured
a happy solution of the industrial problem of the
South. Numerous rebellions of slaves, especially in
Haiti, had occurred, and the Southern people felt that
the presence of Negroes was not safe. If perchance
gradual emancipation should be adopted as the Phila-
delphia Association had suggested, as the North
had legislated, and as the South was in sympathy,
What would be done with the freed men? Before that
question could be answered the cotton gin was in-
vented, and slavery became a Southern institution.
The institution fastened itself on the South and grew
in spite of the protests of voices crying in the wilder-
Emancipators on the Frontier
Prophets of a different social order became an or-
ganized group in the West. Not one whit behind the
political efforts against slavery in Kentucky that
harked back to the last decade of the eighteenth cen-
tury was the action of the Elkhorn Association, which,
in 1792, pronounced slavery inconsistent with the
Christian religion. Even though this resolution had
to be recalled in a few months to save the unity of the
churches, there were individuals like Joshua Carmen
and Josiah Dodge, initiators of the first "emancipa-
tion church," and followed by John Sutton and Carter
Tarrant, founders of the New Hope Church in 1791,
who were against slavery. There were kindred spirits
such as Donald Holmes, Jacob Gregg, George Smith,
and David Barrow, some from Europe but all in Ameri-
The Slavery Controversy 59
ca, who declared for the abolition of slavery and for
no fellowship with slaveholders. Commonly called
Emancipators, they called themselves Friends to Hu-
Friends to Humanity
By far the leader of the Emancipating Baptists was
David Barrow, ex-soldier of the Revolution, and pub-
lisher of an emancipation Circular Letter in Virginia
where he had manumitted his own slaves in 1784.
After a ministry of twenty-four years at Mill Swamp
Church, Isle of Wight County (the last ten years
were divided with Southampton County) he moved to
Kentucky in 1798 because he viewed "holding, tyr-
annizing over, and driving slaves. . . contrary to
the laws of God and nature."
The influence of the Friends to Humanity created
schism and unrest among the Baptists, so that the
Elkhorn Association in 1805 resolved that slavery was
a political issue and consequently ministers, churches,
and associations were not to "meddle" with it. There
was trouble in the Bracken Association, and David
Barrow was expelled from the North District Asso-
ciation. The disaffected members of these associa-
tions in 1807 formed the Baptized Licking-Locust As-
sociation, Friends to Humanity, which became an abo-
lition society. "Tarrant's Rules" were already a cate-
chism of anti-slavery principles for such a body, and
Barrow made sentiment for the movement by pub-
lishing a pamphlet, entitled Involuntary, Unmerited,
Perpetual, Absolute, Hereditary Slavery Examined on
the Principles of Nature, Reason, Justice and Scrip-
60 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
ture. The movement did not last longer than 1820 in
Kentucky and at its height hardly numbered more
than a dozen churches.
As in Kentucky the Friends to Humanity grew up
in Illinois, but unlike them they defeated the pro-
slavery party by 1830. The movement centered
around the Lemen family, consisting of father, James
Lemen, and four sons. The elder Lemen, claiming to
express the views of Thomas Jefferson to have the
Northwest unencumbered by slavery, created a schism
in the Illinois Baptist Association in 1809 which re-
sulted in the formation of the Baptist Church of Christ
(Bethel), Friends to Humanity, consisting of his
family and Benjamin Ogle at Cantine Creek in Decem-
ber of that year. The South District Association,
Friends to Humanity, constituted in 1809, became the
medium through which the Lemen family expressed
their anti-slavery views. It had attracted other
churches by 1829, so that it was divided into three
parts, known as the South, North, and Missouri Dis-
tricts. There is no doubt that the stand of the Lemens
helped Illinois enter the Union as a free state. The
Friends to Humanity would continue their protests. By
1848, according to Benedict, they had at least seven
associations in Illinois, some of which maintained the
name of Friends to Humanity until the Civil War.
In Missouri, Iowa, and the Northwest
From Illinois the Friends to Humanity went into
Missouri, forming numerous churches and the Dis-
The Slavery Controversy 61
trict Association. In Iowa, south of Burlington in
1836, Elders James Lemen, Jr., Moses Lemen, and
John Clark from Rock Spring, Illinois, formed the
Baptized Church of Christ, Friends to Humanity. The
Jubilee, Liberty, and Madison associations in Indiana
represent bodies that questioned even the correspond-
ing with slaveholding Baptists. In Ohio the Provi-
dence and Mad River associations were Friends to Hu-
Precursors of Abolition
The Friends to Humanity had plowed the field that
proved fertile soil for the abolitionist propaganda.
Nevertheless, Baptists in general were not prepared to
answer the most important social question of the
nineteenth century so courageously as the Friends to
Humanity. Yet the contention of the Friends to Hu-
manity for general emancipation which should be
most advantageous "both to the slaves and their
owners" was everywhere going on, creating a growing
class of freed Negroes with whom the body politic was
American Colonization Society
In 1816 the American Colonization Society was
formed to send free Negroes out of the country, and
after 1822 an asylum was provided in what is now
Liberia, West Africa. As the conservative plan of
colonization increased, the cause of the radical Friends
to Humanity decreased. , Baptists seemed enthusias-
tic over the idea, endorsing the plan in churches and
62 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
associations and starting branches of the Society in
the North and in the South. John Mason Peck was
one of the agents of the Colonization Society in the
West. Free Negroes, however, were never very en-
thusiastic over it. Lott Cary wrote the Triennial Con-
vention Mission Board about three months after he
arrived in Africa: "I am truly sorry, that the hopes
and expectations of the Board cannot be realized, as
to our missionary labours; for, as it pleased you to
have us connected with the Colonization Society. . . .
we must cultivate it (a farm) for our support, and
for the support of these (recaptured) Africans." Up
to 1852 only 7836 Negroes had been sent to Africa;
according to the United States Census for 1850 the
free Negroes in America numbered 434,495.
The emancipation idea was revived but this time by
abolitionists who believed that America needed a
shock experience, immediate emancipation without
compensation, which opinion they were ready to seal
with their blood. This sentiment was crystallized
when William Lloyd Garrison began his Liberator in
1831 and shone with great brilliancy after the Ameri-
can Anti-Slavery Society was organized in 1833.
A Divided Nation
The whole country was divided into slavery and
anti-slavery sympathizers. The best brain upheld
either side. Preachers, poets, authors, and orators of
both views spoke in no uncertain tones. The anti-slav-
The Slavery Controversy 63
ery element created a literature to give a death-blow to
slavery. The pro-slavery forces did not need to create
one, although they wrote. The Biblical patriarchs,
prophets and preachers, including Jesus of Nazareth
and Paul of Tarsus took slavery for granted. South-
ern people and all others have never found the Bible
saying a word against the system. Yet the North took
the Bible and found in it the Spirit of Jesus tri-
umphing over the letter of the law.
Nat Turner and His Insurrection
I At the very outset of the controversy in 1831 Nat
Turner, a Baptist preacher in Southampton County,
Virginia, brought to a climax a series of slave insur-
rections by killing sixty-one whites before he was cap-
tured and hanged. He had been influenced by the
teachings of David Barrow, for it is remembered that
that emancipator spent ten years in Southampton
County before he left for Kentucky two years before
Turner was born. 1 It was believed that Turner had
read the literature of the abolitionists. Thereupon,
it did not take the South many months to enact a re-
vised black code, curtailing any effort for freedom that
Negroes might make. Among other things Negro
preachers were to be silenced; no assemblies of Ne-
groes were to be held without a white person present;
instruction in reading and writing was forbidden, and
passes became more difficult to obtain. The effects of
these enactments will be shown in succeeding chapters.
1. See ray article "Nat Turner, a Hundred Years After-
wards" in the Crisis, August, 1931.
64 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
American Slavery Before the World
Nevertheless, the slavery issue was before the
world, and both conservative and radical Baptists
could not refrain from participating in the agitation.
Then it was that slavery was recognized by some as
an evil to be eradicated at any cost. Then it was that
voices of protest crying in the wilderness were em-
boldened to be heard on the highways.
Attitude of Denominational Agencies
The denominational agencies tried hard to preserve
the unity of their organizations. During twenty-one of
the thirty years of the existence of the Triennial Con-
vention slaveholders were presidents. The Home Mis-
sion Society appointed both Friends to Humanity and
slaveholders as its missionaries. Rather the policy of
the denomination was that of the Society when it said
during the height of the controversy: "It would be
traveling out of the record to allow the introduction
of the question (slavery), or admit it, even as a sub-
ject of conference in the Society. . . The Executive
Committee must, with their views as to the proper
province of the Society and its Committee, claim an
exemption from any share in such a discussion."
The Baptists of London and vicinity who had
worked nobly in helping England win gradual emanci-
pation for the West Indies would bring their aggres-
The Slavery Controversy 65
siveness to America. Garrison was already abroad
stirring up sentiment for abolitionism. So under date
of December 31, 1833, the English Baptists addressed
a letter to the pastors and ministers of the Baptist
denomination throughout the United States of Ameri-
ca urging them to take some action against slavery
which to them was "a sin to be abandoned, and not an
evil to be mitigated." The Board of the Triennial
Convention replied by letter and resolution in Sep-
tember of the next year that "we are precluded, by
our Constitution, from taking any part in the discus-
sion on the subject proposed in said communication."
Not content with correspondence the Baptist Union
dispatched Elders F. A. Cox and J. Hoby to America
"to promote the sacred cause of Negro emancipa-
tion." Although the deputation attended the Triennial
Convention in 1835, it maintained a public silence on
slavery except at the meeting of the Free Will Bap-
tists 1 in New Hampshire. Notwithstanding, English
Baptists in 1836 announced that they would have no
intercourse with slaveholding American Baptists.
Moreover, the Baptist Magazine of July, 1834, had
reviewed an anti-slavery address. Such a stir was
made that in the August issue the editor remarked
that nothing further on slavery would be admitted
to the organ.
1. That body took a stand against slavery in 1839. Wiley,
Life of Randall, 274.
66 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
American Baptist Anti-Slavery Convention
But the anti-slavery element would have no com-
promise. Correspondingly, more than 180 persons
signed a letter to the English Baptists purporting to
be more expressive of the American Baptist attitude
on slavery. About 100 persons responded to a call of
some 700 Baptists in McDougal Street Church, New
York City, on April 28, 1840, and formed the Ameri-
can Baptist Anti-Slavery Convention with Elon Galu-
sha, president. Elon Galusha was thereupon ejected
from the Board of Vice-Presidents of the Triennial
Convention in 1841.
The keynote for the division of the Baptists in
America had been sounded. A Southern board of the
Triennial Convention was proposed, of which Jesse
Mercer wrote with prophetic insight: "The tendency
will inevitably be to break up all our united operations,
and I seriously fear, our civil union also." The distinc-
tions among the Baptists were not geographical but
were of radical anti-slavery, of neutral organization,
and of pro-slavery Baptists. The anti-slavery Bap-
tists believed slavery the most heinous sin and slave-
holders un-Christian. Many moderate Baptists agreed
with the statement of Francis Wayland: "I believe
slavery to be a sin; but consider many of the South-
ern slaveholders as free from the guilt of slavery as
I am." Some Southern men agreed with that state-
ment, for many of them had inherited slaves as prop-
erty; but Dr. J. B. Jeter of Virginia said: "None be-
lieved that slavery per se was sinful."
The Slavery Controversy 67
Free Mission Society
Accusations flew thick and fast. The radical Bap-
tist sentiment found expression in a convention of
eighteen men, May 4, 1843 at Tremont Temple, Boston,
a church with the abolitionist Nathaniel Colver as
pastor. The group completed its organization under
the name of the American and Foreign Baptist Mis-
sion Society, but the name was later changed to the
American Baptist Free Mission Society. The Society
voiced a protest against the lack of church control
over the mission societies, rejected titles such as "Doc-
tor of Divinity" and opposed secret fraternities, but
the fact that first of all it avowed no connection with
slaveholders made it full grown over night. If all the
anti-slavery leaders were not members of it, they car-
ried its spirit far and near.
Jacob Knapp and Disorganization
Jacob Knapp was one of the firebrands who lighted
many a fire in the major cities of America. As a
popular evangelist he was engaged to conduct a meet-
ing in Richmond in 1843. After he had preached for
about five weeks in the First and Second churches, he
preached his usual sermon against slavery. Already
Doctor Jeter had been censured because his slave,
Davy, had on a much-patched overcoat. Jacob Knapp
adds that a committee waited on him with the de-
mand that he desist from mentioning the subject of
slavery. He refused to do that and with some of
his laundry still wet left Richmond on an early morn-
ing train to avoid any further difficulties.
68 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
Fuller- Wayland Debate
While a battle of words was being waged, Richard
Fuller of South Carolina replied to some abolition
statements appearing in the Christian Reflector in
1844. To sustain his Southern position, he quoted
Francis Wayland's Elements of Moral Science. Doctor
Wayland's reply precipitated the logomachy through
the press on Domestic Slavery Considered as a Scrip-
tural Institution, in which Doctor Fuller upheld slav-
ery and Doctor Wayland opposed it. Unlike the cur-
rent discussions of the times this well-known con-
troversy was less bitter and more respectful of the
personalities of the supporters of both views.
A Divided Denomination
The testing ground of the whole matter was in the
Triennial Convention of 1844. With great unanimity
the Convention resolved "That in cooperating to-
gether as members of this Convention in the work of
Foreign Missions, we disclaim all sanction, either ex-
pressed or implied, whether of slavery or of anti-slav-
ery; but, as individuals, we are perfectly free both to
express and to promote elsewhere, our own views on
these subjects in a Christian manner and spirit." The
climax was reached subsequently when a slaveholding
missionary among the Cherokees was retired, and
when distrust and misrepresentation became gener-
al. The Alabama State Convention wrote the Board
asking whether slaveholders were entitled to appoint-
ment as missionaries. The Board replied in Decem-
ber: "If, however, any one should offer himself as a
The Slavery Controversy 69
missionary, having slaves, and should insist on re-
taining them as his property, we could not appoint
him. One thing is certain, we can never be a party
to any arrangement which would imply approbation
The facts were that in spite of the conciliatory
policy of the denominational agencies, the Southern
members were gradually withdrawing, and the bodies
were embarrassed by debt within and foes of slavery
without. The Home Mission Society in its meeting in
April, 1845, had to consider the request of the State
Convention of Georgia for the appointment of a slave-
holding missionary. The Society then thought that
it was expedient for its Northern and Southern mem-
bers to function as separate organizations.
Organization of Southern Baptist Convention
Thereupon, the Virginia Baptist Foreign Mission
Society issued a call for the Southern churches to
meet in Augusta, Georgia, on May 8, 1845, where the
Southern Baptist Convention was formed. The North-
ern Baptists continued the Triennial Convention which
became known as the American Baptist Missionary
Union. Thus among the denomination there were
three groups of Baptists, instead of two as all histo-
rians point out — the Northern agencies, and the
Southern Convention, and the Free Mission Society.
The third group, the radical minority, had challenged
the denomination with a sharp distinction between a
gospel that sought the redemption of society and one
that would maintain the existing social order.
The Missionary Union
The Missionary Union began to rally its constitu-
ency to pay an indebtedness of $40,000 and to support
the mission stations. With the venerable Adoniram
Judson at the first session in 1845 interest was so
heightened that the Union could begin anew free of
debt. Edward Bright was appointed corresponding
secretary in 1846 and for nine years firmly estab-
lished the work. Beginning with 109 missionaries,
123 native helpers, 79 churches with about 50,000
members, and 56 schools with 1,350 pupils in non-
Christian lands and in Europe, the work advanced in
1930 to 712 missionaries, 10,296 native helpers, 2,311
churches, 276,408 members, 3,920 schools with 151,-
993 pupils, and 94 hospitals in non-Christian lands
alone. The annual income of $82,302.95 in 1845 had
increased to $1,744,533.88 in 1930 with total assets of
nearly $11,000,000. The 126 mission stations have
been grouped into eight fields, continuing the Burma,
Assam, South India, Bengal-Orissa, and China mis-
sions from the Triennial Convention and adding mis-
sions in Japan (1872), Belgian Congo (1884), and the
Philippine Island (1900).
Northern Baptists 71
John N. Murdock
All but the last of these fields were developed dur-
ing the incumbency of Dr. John N. Murdock who
served as corresponding secretary from 1863 to 1892.
During that period the mission churches, mission-
aries, and income were more than tripled. Yet with a
relatively small income the Union was extraordinarily
successful because of its methods which were pecu-
liar to that day, but which all missionary experience
has vindicated. Instead of multiplying missionaries
with a few native workers, the Union employed as
many native helpers as possible along with as few
as one misisonary. With prophetic vision Secretary
Murdock advanced other methods which were severely
criticized as they estranged friends and whole groups
of Baptists. There was great emphasis on training
for missionary service.
The Union and Negro Baptists
During those times the Negro Baptists twice re-
fused overtures of the Union for cooperation, prefer-
ring an independent rather than an auxiliary organi-
zation. Seemingly the distinction between the Union
and the Foreign Mission Convention (Negro) was
one of preparation rather than of race, for President
Love of the Convention called special attention in
1890 to the fact "that by some means unknown to this
Convention all of the scholars from the schools of the
Home Mission Society who go to Africa go to the Con-
go, which is under the Missionary Union." 1
1. Minutes Baptist Foreign Mission Convention, 1886, 14,
32; ibid, 1888, 11-14, 20; ibid, 1890, 10.
72 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
The missionaries were highly prepared, in many
cases able to make lasting philological contributions
to the indigenous language, as Francis Mason had done
in translating the Scriptures for the Karens, and
Nathan Brown, for the Assamese and Japanese. Many
were decorated for distinguished services by foreign
governments. They were able to maintain a high
standard in thousands of schools of all kinds. None
of these schools is more important than the college at
Rangoon, Burma, and that at Ongole, India, respec-
tively affiliated with the University at Calcutta and
at Madras, and the Shanghai College, supported by
both Northern and Southern Baptists. Whatever in-
tellectual, religious, civilizing, and moral effects have
followed the activities of the Union are due to the
splendid fitness of the missionaries for their tasks.
Revivals in India and Africa
It is fortunate that the oft-repeated suggestions to
relinquish important mission stations did not carry.
After thirty years of little success among the Telu-
gus of India great revivals occurred, and there were
4000 Christians in 1876, most of whom came in dur-
ing the decade previous. Dr. J. E. Clough, the mis-
sionary, alleviated the famine that ravished the field
the next year and on one day, July 3, 1878, baptized
2222 in the Gundalucuma River. During two months
new Christians totaled 9,147. The "Pentecost on the
Congo" began with the missionary labors of Rev.
Northern Baptists 73
Henry Richards at Banza Manteke when hundreds
professed Christ there and in surrounding districts.
Not minimizing the other labors of the Union, its
evangelistic endeavors have become preeminent. Na-
tive churches, able to stand alone, are everywhere en-
Woman's Foreign Missionary Society
Women have sustained special auxiliary relations to
the Missionary Union, which became the American
Baptist Foreign Mission Society in 1910. The Wom-
an's Baptist Foreign Mission Society with headquar-
ters in Boston and the Woman's Baptist Foreign Mis-
sion Society of the West with headquarters in Chica-
go were organized in 1871. Since 1914 these bodies
have consolidated as the Woman's American Baptist
Foreign Mission Society, and now it appropriates
nearly $400,000 annually for mission work.
Free Mission Society
The Free Mission Society sent missionaries to Haiti
in 1847, thinking that they would raise up Negroes
who would evangelize Africa. Work was begun in
Canada, and New York Central College was started,
both of which were to train workers for Africa. It
all failed though William P. Newman went to Haiti in
1859 after laboring eleven years in Canada, and
Chauncey Leonard of ¥/ashington and Mahomah, a
native African from Brazil, went to Africa. Estranged
from the other denominational agencies of the North
though vindicated by emancipation in their protest
74 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
against African enslavement, the Free Mission Society
saw little reason to exist after the Civil War. Every
year members were withdrawing from the Society
while Negroes were joining in large numbers. Plans
were offered from time to time to identify the Free
Mission work with one of the Negro conventions. The
mission property at Port au Prince, Haiti, was relin-
quished to the Consolidated Convention in 1871, and
the next year the Society voted to dissolve when its
debts were paid. It existed nominally until 1875, hav-
ing transferred its best work and missionaries, the
Japan mission, to the Missionary Union in 1872.
Mission Work Among Negroes
"Before the cartridge box had ended its deadly
work, before the ballot box was opened to the freed-
man, in the churches of the North the contribution
box was going its rounds for offerings" to enlighten
Negroes. Beginning operations in Washington and
Alexandria, before the Reconstruction the Free Mis-
sion Society had 25 missionaries at the South. The
Home Mission Society began work in 1862 and the
National Theological Institute and University com-
menced its activities in 1864. Soon after emancipa-
tion the Home Mission Board of the Free Will Baptists
during its first six years sent and sustained for work
among the freedmen 66 different "pious and well-
educated" teachers and 33 ministers as missionaries.
Tens of thousands of Bibles were distributed by the
American Bible Union. Seven Sunday school mis-
sionaries were working exclusively among the freed-
men under the auspices of the Publication Society,,
Northern Baptists 75
whose chief contribution, however, was in preparing
and supplying elementary religious literature. The
First Reader for Freedmen and The Freedman's Book
of Christian Doctrine were prepared by 1865.
As the religion of Jesus spread over the routes made
safe by the conquests of the Roman Army, and as
Protestantism in Germany was assured in the wake of
the advancing Gustavus Adolphus, so in the South
Negro schools grew up in the centers where Northern
arms were victorious. They were distinct echoes of the
small denominational college idea, which accordingly
were called institutes, seminaries, and later colleges,
and universities even when the emancipated millions
knew nothing of the elementary subjects of learning.
Reading and writing and arithmetic as well as Latin
and Greek had places in the regular curricula. Some-
times without a building, these institutions were mere-
Contributions of Northern Philanthropists
The amount of information that the Negro gained
was negligible compared with the spirit of the move-
ment which they immediately caught. The leaders
came in touch with real New England culture. Many
of them for the first time were given names. The
principle of altruism, instilled into the life stream
of that race, has today become a test of the educated.
They learned self-reliance and were inspired with con-
fidence in themselves. They were urged to take ad-
76 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
vantage of every opportunity to establish the sanctity
of the home. Everyone who was taught anything
was commissioned to teach that to others, and so the
influence spread to thousands. It is with reference
to the contribution of the spirit that Negroes appraise
the work of the Northern philanthropists.
Permanent Mission Schools
In 1869 the work of the National Theological Insti-
tute and University was merged with that of the
Home Mission Society. While some of the early
schools were relinquished, others became permanent
blessings to the Negro race. Led by Morehouse Col-
lege of the seven major schools to which the Society
has made considerable appropriations (Virginia Union
University, 1865, continuing Wayland Seminary,
Washington, D. C, and Richmond Institute; Shaw
University, Raleigh, North Carolina, 1865; Morehouse
College, Atlanta, Georgia, 1867; Leland College, Baker,
Louisiana, 1869; Benedict College, Columbia, South
Carolina, 1870; Jackson (Mississippi) College, 1877;
and Bishop College, Marshall, Texas, 1881), all but
one have Negro presidents. The Free Will Baptists
support Storer Junior College, Harpers Ferry, West
Virginia, 1867. In 1931 in all of the schools there were
197 teachers of whom 177 were Negro, and 1836 stu-
dents of college grade.
Connected with each of these schools is some fas-
cinating story. They were begun by pioneers yet un-
sung whose patient bearing of prejudice and endur-
Northern Baptists 11
ance of hardships are still remembered by this gen-
eration; they are continued by modern disciples, white
and black, with distinguished lineages, who are com-
pleting the acts of the apostles. Henry Martyn Tupper
at Shaw, Charles H. Corey, Richmond Seminary, D.
W. Phillips, Roger Williams, and G. M. P. King, Way-
land, gave their lives in this service.
Home Mission Society and the Negro
Beginning with an expenditure of $2000 the So-
ciety has expended over $100,000 annually for many
years for those institutions, not to mention their
other missionary work among the Negro churches of
the West and South. The investment was more than
material. The success of Wayland Seminary ac-
counted for the founding of Howard, which has be-
come a Federal University for Negroes. The invest-
ment has meant the better understanding of the races.
The schools helped diminish illiteracy and stimulated
the common school system. In the words of Henry L.
Morehouse, corresponding secretary during the de-
velopment of the schools, the expenditure confirmed
the belief "in the thorough humanity of the black man,
capable of culture, capable of high attainments under
proper conditions and with sufficient time, a being not
predestined to be simply a hewer of wood and drawer
of water for the white race, foreordained to irrevo-
cable and everlasting inferiority but a man, whose
mind and soul may expand indefinitely to comprehend
the great things of God, and to take a useful and
honorable place in the world's activities."
78 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
Other Work of the Home Mission Society
As important as this work has been it is not the only-
interest of Society. Where the need has been greatest
from Alaska to Mexico and in the islands of the At-
lantic have missionary labors received emphasis from
time to time.
In the West
In 1845 Ezra Fisher and Hezekiah Johnson suffered
great hardships while completing their long journey
to Oregon. Before and after the discovery of gold in
the West, by 1861, California, New Mexico, Nevada,
Colorado, and Montana had been reached. As soon as
the events of the Civil War permitted, the Western
missions were reinforced and extended by 1871 to in-
clude the Dakotas, Idaho, Wyoming, and Utah. The
completion of the railroads greatly faciliated this
work; so that by 1874 there were 217 laborers in the
West, and in the eighties nearly every western state
and territory and British Columbia had been reached.
Hardly a church of present usefulness was not aided
in this territory by the Church Edifice Loan Fund
(1862) and the Church Edifice Gift Fund (1881),
called into being for this purpose.
Among Non-English Speaking Peoples
Moreover, the hundreds of thousands of non-Eng-
lish speaking peoples in the West and East offered
large opportunities to the Society. Before the fifties
there had been beginnings among the Welch, Germans,
Northern Baptists 79
Scandinavians, and French Canadians. Evangelistic
efforts were extended to the French Canadians in New
England in 1869. Non-English speaking Baptist
groups have increased and organized until in 1930
there were fourteen conventions of them. The Gen-
eral Conference of German Baptist Churches of North
America with headquarters in Chicago is the oldest.
This body was begun in 1865 and has nine sectional
conferences which meet annually while the body it-
self meets triennially. It has its own missionary, edu-
cation (in connection with the Rochester-Colgate
Theological Seminary), and publishing societies and
orphan's home besides pension fund for ministers, old
people's home, hospital, and several girls' homes. It
reports 26 associations, 270 churches, 303 ordained
ministers, and 36,025 members. The General Confer-
ence of the Swedish (1879) and of the Danish Baptists
(1910) is the next in size. The former has 19 sec-
tional conferences in the United States and Canada
with 303 churches, 217 ministers, and 33,637 mem-
bers. It meets annually while the Danish Conference
with 4 associations, 34 churches, 50 ministers, and
4,127 members meets triennially. A total of 12 asso-
ciations, 317 churches, 241 ordained ministers, and
18,328 members are enrolled among the French, Ital-
ian, Finnish, Hungarian, Norwegian, Czechosolvakian,
Polish, Roumanian, Portugese, Russian, and Ukrainian
Baptists who have one association each, and the Mexi-
can Baptists who have two associations. The Inter-
national Seminary (1920) in East Orange, New Jersey,
is supported by the Home Mission Society to train
workers for these churches.
80 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
Labors among the Chinese and Japanese have been
fraught with difficulties in California and cities like
Chicago and New York. There are 4 churches, 4 min-
isters, and 270 members among the Chinese, and 5
churches, 8 ministers, and 529 members among the
Japanese reporting, and some English speaking
churches have special departments for Orientals as
well as non-English speaking Americans.
With the assumption of the Indian mission from the
Missionary Union in 1885 a new field was opened for
the Home Mission Society. Immediately a secretary
for this department was appointed, and the work was
reorganized and invigorated, especially in Indian Ter-
ritory and Oklahoma. Bacone College was begun in
1880 and is surrounded by government secondary
schools in the Cherokee Nation, the Chotaw Nation,
and at the Wichita Agency. There were 17 instruc-
tors and 304 students in 1930 in Bacone College.
Evangelistic efforts of the Society have touched a
great number of tribes.
In Latin America
The expansion of American interests into Latin
America has opened still other fields for the Society's
operations. The seed of seven years' labors in Mexico
had borne fruit by 1869 when the mission was reen-
forced. Retrenchment became necessary after four
Northern Baptists 81
years, and the mission was not resumed until 1881. By
agreement with the Southern Baptists Porto Rico and
Eastern Cuba were entered in 1899. In this century
the work has been extended to El Salvador, Haiti, and
Nicaragua. Of a total of 64,436 Baptists in Central
America and the West Indies in 1931, 22,055 were in
the Society's missions in Latin America.
City Mission Societies
The need of mission work in the great cities of
America came to the attention of the Society in 1893,
and it was begun first in cooperation with the City Mis-
sion Society of Chicago in 1898 and now is carried on
in twenty-two metropolitan centers scattered from
Boston to San Francisco.
Woman's Home Mission Society
The Woman's American Baptist Home Mission So-
ciety, continuing the one in the East and the one in
the West, both organized in 1877 and consolidated in
1909, has mobilized the women for service along the
line of the Home Mission Society. Its distinctive
work is educational with a Training School in Chica-
go and generous support of Spelman College, Atlanta,
Georgia, the premier college for Negro women in the
world. Local women's missionary societies are numer-
ous enough to form twelve district bodies.
The Backus Historical Society at Boston, 1853, and
The American Baptist Historical Society at Chester,
82 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
Pennsylvania, 1862, have within their libraries rare
documents, reports, and general works of the denomi-
nation. The endeavors of the Baptists in the fields of
Book Publishing, Religious Education, Sunday School
Publishing, and Bible and Field work have in the
period under review been prosecuted by The American
Baptist Publication Society.
The Publication Society had its beginning in Wash-
ington, D. C, in 1824, as the Baptist General Tract
Society, chiefly through the inspiration of Noah K.
Davis, a young pastor of Salisbury, Maryland. Not
until the name was changed to The American Baptist
Publication and Sunday School Society in 1840 and
shortened to The American Baptist Publication So-
ciety in 1844 did the work seem assured. Since 1826
its headquarters have remained in Philadelphia where
the Society has grown from modest quarters, rented
for one hundred dollars annuallly, to its own separate
building for headquarters and for printing. Branch
houses, formerly located in the South as well as in
the North, have been continued only at Chicago, Bos-
ton, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Toronto,
but its field of labor is national and international.
Benjamin Griffith, Corresponding Secretary
The Society has been fortunate in the selection of
very capable executive secretaries who have formu-
lated its polices. The administration of the popular
Benjamin Griffith, whose long and efficient services for
Northern Baptists 83
thirty-five years until his death in 1893, has been an
abiding influence. During his incumbency the organi-
zation of the Society was perfected, and its building
program launched, colportage and missionary labors
both here and abroad were vigorously pushed, the So-
ciety became a prominent publisher of books as well
as of Sunday school literature, the Bible work of the
denomination was committed to it, chapel car evan-
gelism was begun, and the organization of the young
Baptists of America was perfected.
Baptist Young People's Union
Already there were many churches with Baptist
young people's organizations, especially in the West.
Eight years after the formation of the Society of
Christian Endeavor (1881) the Baptists of Nebraska
organized the first state-wide denominational conven-
tion of young people. In 1891 the Publication Society
called a conference on the subject in Philadelphia on
April 22, and at a meeting in Chicago on July 8, the
Baptist Young People's Union of America was organ-
ized and included the young Baptists of Canada and
the United States. The movement has had a phenom-
enal growth, registering 6000 delegates at the 1930
Convention in San Francisco.
Northern Baptist Convention
There was a diversity of tasks but a unanimity of
spirit among the Northern Baptists, for many of their
agencies had been accustomed to hold their annual
meetings at the same time and place. In 1907 at
84 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
Washington, D. C, they went further by organizing
the Northern Baptist Convention ''to serve the com-
mon interests of the entire denomination." Member-
ship is granted any Baptist church or convention in
the United States not on a financial but on a representa-
tive basis. The denominational societies became co-
operating agencies of the Convention and have in re-
cent years been greatly assisted by the National Coun-
cil of Northern Baptist Men which was begun in 1923.
Since 1926 the Publication Society has financed itself
through its business and by special gifts apart from
contributions to the Northern Baptist Convention.
Three new Boards were organized by the Conven-
tion. The Ministers and Missionaries' Benefit Board,
merging many relief associations and incorporated in
1913, was the first. In 1930 its investments were in
excess of seventeen million dollars, and it aided ap-
proximately two thousand people. Mr. John D.
Rockefeller has given several million dollars to the
fund. The Board of Education, incorporated in 1920,
continues the American Baptist Education Society, or-
ganized in 1888. For over two decades previously the
need for a supervisory educational agency of the de-
nomination was felt. With the readiness of Mr.
Rockefeller to found the University of Chicago the
Education Society undertook to raise the necessary
additional funds, to affiliate nearby small colleges and
to provide financial assistance in the form of endow-
ments to institutions in the West and South. With
the founding of the undenominational General Edu-
Northern Baptists 85
cation Board in 1902 the Society was bereft of funds
and a program. It took over a decade to find a new
appeal — the encouragement and support of Baptist
pastors at the state universities. This work the Board
is continuing jointly with representatives of higher
educational communities. Their investigations, sur-
veys, reports, and particular interest in missionary
education open avenues for the future of the Board.
The Board of Missionary Cooperation was organized in
1924 and represents all the cooperative organizations,
boards, state conventions, and city mission societies.
It regulates expenditures for the different organiza-
tions according to an approved budget.
The fact that Northern Baptist have made material
and spiritual contributions to the racial families of the
world is a splendid achievement, and their liberalizing
spirit sets them apart. The Northern Convention has
fostered the most cordial fraternal relations with the
Southern Baptists. They participate in inter-denomi-
national cooperation, being a constituent member of
the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in
America (1905) and of the Advisory Committee on a
World Conference on Questions of Faith and Order,
begun by the Protestant Episcopal Church, and hav-
ing representatives on the Board of Missionary Prepa-
ration. After seven years' effort in 1911 the Free
Baptists consolidated their missionary funds and work
with the Northern Baptists agencies. With united ef-
fort the two denominations, now one, carry on the once
Free Baptist newspaper, The Morning Star, their
86 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
educational work in institutions like Hillsdale
College, Michigan, 1844, and Bates College, Maine,
1864, and state conventions and churches.
Status of Northern Baptists
Members, wealth, and prestige have come with the
years, so that in 1930 the Northern Baptists reported
8,193 churches, 8,786 ordained ministers, and 1,410,-
325 members with 7,769 church houses and property
valued at over 215 million dollars. No longer is it
considered a mark of ignorance and shame to be a Bap-
tist. Baptists are one of the intelligent, and progres-
sive forces of the religious life of America.
The task confronting the Southern Convention was
one of organization. At the first session the Foreign
Mission Board and the Domestic Mission Board were
formed with headquarters at Richmond, Virginia, and
at Marion, Alabama, respectively.
J. L. Shuck and T. J. Roberts of the Triennial Con-
vention at once accepted missionary appointment to
China. Others joined them to embrace a work that
must now be divided into three districts: South
China around Canton, opening in 1845, where R. H.
Graves faithfully spent over forty years; and Central
China, Shanghai, 1847, with M. T. Yates; and North
China, Shantung, 1860, from which station valuable
workers have established the Interior China Mission
(1905). The Pakhoi mission was added in 1914. The
type of labor has been evangelistic, literary, industrial,
educational, and medical with a total in 1931 of 206
missionaries, 467 native helpers, 1,462 baptisms, 32,-
663 members, 142 schools with 10,217 students, and
88 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
15 hospital buildings and 8 dispensaries through which
140,846 patients were treated.
When the Southern Baptist Convention was organ-
ized the Boards of the Missionary Union and the
Southern Convention at once began corresponding re-
garding the transfer of missionary operations in Afri-
ca. A missionary was sent to Liberia in 1846, the same
year that the Convention decided that it was advan-
tageous to employ Negroes as missionaries. They
paid those workers from $100 to $600 annually which
was quite a contrast to the less than $100 paid by the
Union, and so found no difficulty in attracting experi-
enced laborers, which included a governor of one of
the Liberian counties, a chief justice of the Supreme
Court, a vice-president and a president of Liberia.
Work, mostly evangelistic and educational, was carried
on in Sierra Leone and the four counties of Liberia.
When the mission was suspended at the outbreak of
the Civil War, there were 24 churches and stations,
15 pastors with 1258 members, 21 teachers, and 665
pupils, all manned by Negroes and doing the most ef-
fective mission work of the Southern Convention.
Simultaneously with the Liberian Mission was be-
gun the Yoruban mission, in 1850. The Missionary
Union turned over its whole African work to the
Southern Board in 1856, but the mission was hindered
by the Civil War, native wars, persecution, and sick-
Southern Baptists 89
ness until 1875 when it was resumed by W. J. David
and his Negro helper, W. W. Colley. The evangelis-
tic, educational, industrial, and medical work is now
jointly conducted by the Board and the Nigerian (na-
tive) Convention. For 1931 there were 29 mission-
aries, 181 native helpers, 3,049 baptisms, 26,541 mem-
bers, 55 schools with 3,343 students, and 9 hospitals
and 2 dispensaries, treating 28,675 patients.
Response of Southern Churches
Since June of 1846 the Southern Baptist Missionary
Journal, now the Foreign Mission Journal, has been
published to make sentiment for the cause. If the fi-
nancial returns are an index to the awakened interests,
it is clear that the Baptists of the South have gained
an enlarged missionary conception of kingdom work.
Before the division the Southern Baptists had contrib-
uted to the Triennial Convention in about thirty years
$215,856.28. In the first thirty years of the Southern
Convention the Foreign Mission Board had received
$791,821.10. This progress is attributable in large
measure to the fine response of the Southern churches
to the dedication of the life of the corresponding sec-
retary, J. B. Taylor, to this task from 1846 until his
death in 1872. He was succeeded by H. A. Tupper,
the historian, who was equally efficient for the next
twenty-one years, and then by the enthusiastic R. J.
Summary of Foreign Missionary Activity
Besides labors in Europe mission work was begun
in Mexico in 1880; Brazil, 1882; Japan, 1889; Pales-
90 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
tine-Syria, 1895; Argentina, 1903; and Chile, 1917.
The earliest missionary appointee to Mexico labored
only a few months before he was murdered in Decem-
ber of 1880. The most promising mission station in
South America is in Brazil where labors are extended
far up the Amazon River. The north and south dis-
tricts report 36,335 members. After the disappearance
of the "Edwin Forrest" in 1860, the ship on which a
missionary and wife were lost, no further attention
was turned toward Japan until October, 1889, when
four missionaries sailed. The labors in Palestine-
Syria center around 3 churches; in Argentina, 60
churches, and in Chile, 37 churches. In 1931 the re-
ceipts of the Board exclusive of borrowed money were
$805,578.31. In all the mission stations the Foreign
Mission Board has oversight of 964 churches of which
375 are self-supporting, 110, 318 members, 315 schools
with 20, 577 students, and 28 hospitals and 13 dispen-
saries which treated 170,697 patients.
These statistics do not tell the complete story, for
bound up with each station is the poetic recital of de-
velopments of civilization, won always by sacrifice and
often by martyrdom. Interest in missions at the
South has increased by the establishment of the
Foreign Mission Board, and the Domestic Board has
directed the missionary spirit to triumphant achieve-
ments at the home base.
Interest in Negroes
The first instruction by the Convention charged the
Domestic Board "to take all prudent measures for the
religious instruction of our colored population." Rich
Southern Baptists 91
masters had chapels built and paid preachers to serve
the slaves on their plantations regularly. As Baptists
in the South before 1830 had several Negro itinerant
ministers who preached a gospel acceptable to slaves
and masters, so prosperous white churches and asso-
ciations then had one or more missionaries who took
special interest in evangelizing Negroes. Pastors gen-
erally were encouraged to preach at least on Sunday
afternoons to Negroes, and many of them responded
then as now. Many a minister began his ministry in
that way, assured of a large and responsive audience.
Richard Fuller had said : "I had resolved, when first
called to the ministry, to confine my labors wholly to
our colored population. I was prevented by the hand
of God." 1
Negroes swarmed the Baptist churches, so that by
1850 it is estimated that there were 295,250 Negro
Baptists, one in every twelve of the Negro population.
Accommodations had to be provided for them, like
separate times of meeting, and new and remodelled
churches v/ith wings or galleries. It is interesting to
view survivals of those churches to see how the pres-
ence of the Negro influenced the architecture. The
galleries opened on to the vestibule or in the street but
not in the main auditorium.
Methods Since 1830
Generally, in the rural districts Negroes remained
a part of the white churches, but in the cities Negro
1. Cuthbert, Life of Richard Fuller, 105.
92 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
churches were separately constituted and maintained
under the watchcare of some white organization. That
organization might be an association like the Bethle-
hem of Alabama which took the African (Mobile)
Church as a branch, or a church, like the First, Rich-
mond, which set apart the African Church with the
distinguished Robert Ryland, president of Richmond
College, as pastor. The Negroes paid him $600 a year,
and he rendered them a distinct service for twenty-
five years, during which time he wrote a catechism
for them and baptized some 3832.
Reasons for Activity
As beneficient and sacrificial as these relations ap-
pear to be, they do not exclude the element of fear 1
which had also been so conspicuously evident in the
evangelization of the Indian nor the recognition of
such facts as these: that Baptists knew that the black
codes were not enforced, thereby causing them to wink
at lawlessness, 2 that while Christianity would make
Negroes docile, as contemporary literature during
that period delighted to picture them, it also enhanced
the market value of slaves, 3 and that one steady
stream of fugitive blacks poured into the North to es-
cape from Christian slavery. Yet chiefly because of the
criticism of the South by the abolitionists Baptists in
the South thought the time opportune to show that
1. Tupper, Two Centuries of the First Baptist Church of
South Carolina, 318.
2. Minutes (South Carolina) State Baptist Convention,
3. Parsons, Inside View of Slavery, 272.
Southern Baptists 93
they were no less Christian or unmindful of the well-
being of the Negro than Northern people. 1
Dependent Negro Churches
Moreover, accepting Negro churches as branches of
white organizations obscured the religious history of
Negro Baptists. In Petersburg, Virginia, the Harrison
Street Church, mostly of slave members, acquiesced
in this subordinate relation, but the Gilfield Church,
mostly of free Negroes, was obstreperous. The former
church outstripped the latter in growth and in claims
of priority. In Norfolk the First Church which was Ne-
gro had to content itself with the name of the Bute
Street Church. Andrew Marshall, in Savannah,
Georgia, would not relinquish his pulpit at the First
African Church; and so a minority of the mem-
bers formed a church and were encouraged to
become a branch of the white church which was
received into the Sunbury Association in 1833. 2 Since
the Civil War this group as the F'irst Bryan Church
has maintained its contention of priority in Savannah.
It seemed that religious principles which had been
planted in the heart of the Negro were held by them
in all sincerity, for they remained loyal to their mas-
ters throughout the War. By no means was the Ne-
1. Minutes Virginia Portsmouth Baptist Association, 1839,
2. Record Book First Baptist Church, 1822-1834, 189;
Minutes Sunbury (Georiga) Association, 1833-1860.
94 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
gro to be estranged from the Southern people or to
be inspired by fanatical spirits or to be swept into
other denominations or to be influenced by "almost
every plausible error." Thus to instruct the Negro
was a clear call to duty especially since the children of
Southern people would thereby be saved from his
vices. 1 In spite of the fact that the Southern Bap-
tists were impoverished, they felt capable of taking
care of the needs of the Negro.
Evangelistic and Educational Work
They looked upon the abolitionists as meddlers ; they
ostracized the carpet-baggers and school-teachers,
"emissaries of Satan," as one called them, who also
added that if it had not been for the Federal bayonet
there would have been something besides ostracism.
Yet that same minister confessed that the Home Mis-
sion Society supplemented his salary as preacher to
the Negro church at Williamsburg, Virginia, without
which "needed help so generously conferred" he could
not have easily paid his expenses. 2 State after state
devised plans to aid the Negro, and the South Caro-
lina Convention went so far as to state that if Negro
ministers could support themselves at Greenville, they
would be permitted to receive special lessons from the
professors at the newly formed Southern Baptist
Theological Seminary. 3 Thus the Southern Convention,
1. Paxton, A History of the Baptists of Louisiana, 452-
2. Mss. Hall, March 8, 1890; Letter Hall to Rvland, March
3. Minutes (South Carolina) State Baptist Convention,
1865, 1866; Baptist Year Book, 1868, 87f.
Southern Baptists 95
which was already receiving financial aid from the
Home Mission Society, sent a large number of mis-
sionaries among the Negroes and resolved in 1867 "as
heretofore to preach to them on suitable occasions, and
endeavor to establish and maintain Sunday schools,
encourage day schools among them, and by every
practical means seek to promote their temporal and
Recent Negro Work
Throughout their history Negro Baptists have not
been left without the helpful influence of Southern
Baptists whether in encouraging their first efforts to
publish a Sunday school literature or in providing dol-
lar for dollar in home mission enterprises. The Good
Samaritan Hospital in Selma, Alabama, is maintained
for Negroes, and there are from 25 to 857 Negro pa-
tients in four other hospitals operated by Baptists of
the South; they employ six workers among Negroes
and cooperate with the National Baptist Convention
in supporting the American Baptist Theological Sem-
inary. Forty-three acres of land was secured in the
suburbs of Nashville, adjacent to the site of Roger
Williams University, where the first unit of the Semi-
nary was opened in 1924. The building costing
$75,000 has since been abandoned (1931) for a loca-
tion within the city which has been rented. Although
the project is not yet firmly established, the Commis-
sion is working tirelessly to make real the desire of
the Convention to establish a school for Negro
preachers, entertained as early as 1872.
96 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
Work among Indians was done by the Indian Mission
Association, Louisville, Kentucky, until 1855. At that
time the Indian mission was transferred to the Home
Board and has been restricted largely within Indian
Territory and New Mexico. The Board has 21 workers
and 40 churches or missions among the various tribes.
"The membership among them, in proportion to the
population is now equal to that of our strongest Bap-
tist states. They have been reclaimed from barbarism.
They support a well-organized government. They have
opened farms, builded houses, established schools, and
are prepared, if they so desired, to enter this great
federation of States as a constituent member."
On the Frontiers
Because of their labors for others the Southern Bap-
tists have added strength to their own numbers and
resources. They have developed and aided churches
in the cities and towns, gradually have won the co-
operation and support of their constituency and have
kept step with the steady march of population into
Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, and Florida. Up to the
time of the Civil War the Board had appointed 700
missionaries, added 15,000 members and 200 new
churches, erected 200 church buildings, and expended
$3,000,000. Russell Holman was the efficient secre-
tary during most of the formative years.
Reconstruction and Afterwards
It took fully two decades to recover from the econom-
ic and moral casualties of the Civil War, but by the
help of the Baptists in Maryland, Kentucky, and Mis-
Southern Baptists 97
souri, who escaped somewhat the rigors of war, and
because of the devoted labors of Dr. M. T. Sumner,
corresponding secertary, the Home Board was revived
and infused with new life when it was removed from
Marion to Atlanta, Georgia, in 1882. I. T. Tichenor left
the presidency of the Alabama Agricultural and Me-
chanical College to become secretary of the Board. To
say that the missionary appointments increased from
36 to 406 during a decade of his administration shows
the efficiency of the secretary.
A work in Cuba was formally adopted by the Board
in 1886. Already a church in Key West, Florida, had
sponsored a mission to Cuban women and children of
that city since 1884. Pastor W. B. Wood baptized up-
wards of forty of the Cuban people living in that city,
some of whom returned to Havana. There persons of
like faith and order were found who had been called
together by A. J. Diaz during the two previous years.
Diaz, a former Cuban revolutionary captain, had
thrown himself into the sea some years earlier rather
than surrender. Picked up by a passing vessel, he was
finally taken to New York where his exposure in the
ocean compelled hospital treatment. There Diaz was
hopefully converted through the sympathies of a
young Baptist woman who read him a Spanish New
Testament. After his baptism into the fellowship of
the Willougby Avenue Church, Brooklyn, he returned
to preach his new found faith, supporting himself by
the practice of medicine which he learned in New
York. When Pastor Wood visited Havana under the
98 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
Home Board in 1886 some two hundred of Diaz's fol-
lowers were found. The Baptists of Florida took a
great interest in Cuba and ordained Diaz. Pastor Wood
returned to Cuba to baptize some other followers and
to organize the first Baptist church in Cuba on Jan-
uary 26, 1886. A theater building, costing $75,000,
was purchased by the Board for this Cuban church,
and a school for girls and a hospital for women have
since been established. Undaunted by almost insu-
perable obstacles, including various revolutions and
the Spanish-American War, the Cuban mission in 1931
had extended its usefulness to practically the whole
of the western half of the island with 42 workers of
which 6 are American, 42 churches, and 3,421 mem-
Summary of Home Mission Activity
Brief mention only can be made of the labors of the
Home Board in behalf of the non-English speaking
Americans with 38 workers and 122 churches, of the
Schools and Good Will Centers, Deaf Mutes, Seamen's
Institute, Rescue Mission, Mountain Mission and
Schools, Jewish Evangelization, Field Work and
Church Extension, all coming under the supervision
of the Board. It is enough to remark that this Board
in eighty-seven years of its history has employed
41,062 missionaries who have baptized 785,500 per-
sons. They have organized 8,570 churches and ex-
pended $20,500,000 during this period.
Sunday School Publishing Board
The American Baptist Publication Society supplied
the South with church literature until the new Sun-
Southern Baptists 99
day School Board with headquarters in Nashville was
created in 1891. Prior to that the Bible Board, the
Southern Publication Society, not organically con-
nected with the Convention, and a Sunday School
Board had become extinct.
Dr. J. M. Frost proposed the revival of this Board
and became the first secretary. Succeeded within a
year by Dr. T. P. Bell, then assistant secretary of the
Foreign Board, Dr. Frost was recalled in 1895. Under
him the scope of the Board was enlarged to improv-
ing Sunday-schools, making periodic literature, dis-
tributing Bibles, and publication of books and tracts.
Today all of these and other objects are fostered and
the work of the Board is accomplished through De-
partments with their own secretaries. The Board has
associated Baptist Book Stores in seventeen cities and
cooperates with stores in four other cities.
Beginning in 1918 with a gift of $100,000 from the
Sunday School Board, the resources of the Relief and
Annuity Board are now over $4,000,000. In 1931 Mr.
Rockefeller gave $526,857.02. Headquarters are in
Dallas, Texas, from which about fifteen hundred
beneficiaries are aided annually. Some other interests
of the Southern Baptists are the Baptist Brotherhood
of the South (1907) with headquarters in Knoxville,
Tennessee, and the annual summer Southern Baptist
Assembly at Ridgecrest, North Carolina. There are
commissions on Social Service (1908), Hospital (1914),
Education (1927), and Promotion (1931).
100 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
The Southern Baptist Education Association has
been in existence two decades, but the educational work
of the Convention is prosecuted through the Educa-
tional Commission that has taken the place of the Edu-
cational Board. While the Commission seeks to cor-
relate, survey, and report on the work of the 78 Bap-
tist schools within the bounds of the Convention, the
Convention has oversight of the Southern Baptist
Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky ; the South-
western Baptist Theological Seminary, Seminary Hill,
Texas; the Bible Institute, New Orleans, Louisiana;
and the American Baptist Theological Seminary,
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
The claims of a theological seminary came before
the Convention in the beginning. The theological de-
partments of the Baptist universities did not suffice.
Singularly enough Dr. James P. Boyce, professor in
the Theological Department of Furman University,
himself a graduate of Brown and of Princeton Semi-
nary, proposed the establishment of a distinct semi-
nary at a meeting of an educational convention in
Louisville in 1857. To the Baptist State Convention of
South Carolina he submitted the plan for the estab-
lishment of such a seminary at Greenville with $100,-
000, from the Baptists of South Carolina, provided an
identical amount would be raised from other states.
The conditions were met at least by subscription, and
in October, 1859, the Southern Baptist Theological
Southern Baptists 101
Seminary opened with 26 students and with a faculty
of James P. Boyce, John A. Broadus, Basil Manly, Jr.,
and William Williams. It was hardly open two years
before it was closed on account of the Civil War. After
the war the Baptists of Kentucky were able to sup-
port the Seminary better than the impoverished Caro-
linians, and so it was moved to Louisville in 1877.
After waiting sixty-seven years the Seminary has for
its permanent home "The Beeches," a beautiful campus
with accommodations for more than five hundred
students. During 1931-2 there were 391 students and
104 degree graduates of whom 56 received the degree
of Th. M., and 17 the degree of Ph. D. In 1930 the Bap-
tist Woman's Missionary Union Training School
(1907) also at Louisville had 11 faculty members and
Other Theological Schools
The newer Southwestern Theological Seminary,
Seminary Hill, Texas, continuing the Bible Depart-
ment of Baylor University, was established in 1908. In
1931-2 it enrolled 353 regular and 208 correspondence
students. It is co-educational. The Bible Institute,
New Orleans, Louisiana, (1917) is also co-educational
with 261 students about equally divided between the
Woman's Missionary Union
Thus it is that women have been recognized prom-
inently in the Southern churches. The movement in
this direction, however, is of recent date although as
102 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
early as 1823 women's missionary societies were
thriving in Alabama and Virginia. Inspired by the
women of the North, and knowing of the successful
local groups of women in the South, H. A. Tupper felt
in 1872 that women might be helpful to the cause of
foreign missions. From that time the subject was
repeatedly before the Convention until in 1888 the
Woman's Missionary Union became a distinct move-
ment, auxiliary to all the work of the Convention. To-
day there are 80,149 local organizations of the Union
reaching boys and girls as well as women. Fully $2,-
197,270.98 was contributed by these organizations
during the calendar year of 1931.
Ministers and Churches
The development of the Southern Baptists has been
due to the leaders who have remained in office long
enough to develop the work and to the local constit-
uency and preachers who supported the work as best
they could. The preachers were warm hearted, virile
men, who loved the people even though they were
not adequately paid. They were conservative thinkers
and doctrinal exponents whose chief duties were
"winning and edifying the souls of men." They set the
pulpit on fire. Scholars though some of them were,
they never let the exactness of exegesis interfere with
their enthusiasm of expression. Southern Baptists
constitute a movement of the masses, the major Prot-
estant denomination in the South with 3,770,645
members, 21,420 churches, 23,431 ordained ministers,
and property valued at over 213 million dollars in 1930.
The Underground Railroad, a name given to secret
agencies for helping Negroes escape from slavery, ren-
dered great service to thousands of Negroes fleeing
from the South. Leonard Grimes was converted and
called to preach while serving a prison term for his
exploits in that risky transportation. As pastor in
Boston his organization became known as the "church
of the fugitive slaves," many of whom went on to
Canada after the drastic Fugitive Slave Law of 1850
In Canada there were three Negro churches in the
Haldimand Association, the largest being the First
Church of Toronto, W. Christian, pastor, with 145
members in 1845. Negroes had an association of their
own, also. Edward Mitchell (1794-1872), the best pre-
pared preacher in the Negro race, was laboring in
those parts. Born in Martinique, West Indies, he was
brought to Hanover, New Hampshire, by the Presi-
dent of Dartmouth College, from which he was grad-
uated Bachelor of Arts in August, 1828. He studied
divinity and was ordained about 1831. After preach-
ing five years to white congregations in New Hamp-
104 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
shire and Vermont, he spent the rest of his life among
his own people in Canada East around Eaton and
Magog. He shares with John B. Russworm (Bowdoin,
1828) the distinction of being the first known Negro
to obtain a college degree in America.
The most progressive Negro preachers were in the
North. New life was given to the old churches, and
new ones were established. The churches emphasized
education, and institutions such as the First African,
St. Louis, with a teacher from Glasgow University,
and the African, Boston, with the educated Prince
Saunders, had special accommodations for a day school.
Through the munificent gift and wise guidance of
William Crane in 1855 the Saratoga Street Church,
Baltimore, Noah Davis, pastor, worshipped in what
was probably the most commodious and well-equipped
Negro church in slavery days. It cost over $18,000
and was of brick construction, three stories high, 100
by 40 feet, with rooms for worship, lectures, reading,
circulating library, and day school, primarily to train
both sexes for mission work in Africa. The teacher
became a church officer among Negroes.
Successes of the Convention
The Abyssinian and Zion Churches of New York
City and the Union Church of Philadelphia first saw the
need of an organization that would unite Negro Bap-
tists for the evangelization, education, and general up-
lift of that race. A separate association was not formed
Negro Baptists 105
because Negro churches remained in white associa-
tions; so the American Baptist Missionary Convention
was organized in the Abyssinian Church in 1840. It
was incorporated in 1848 with headquarters in New
York City. In 1860, 29 churches, 18 licentiates, and 41
ordained ministers, were enrolled, representing the
East, California, and Africa. Any person could be-
come a member by sending one dollar, and any mis-
sion society, church, or association, by three dollars.
At one session representation fees came from twenty-
eight persons in Virginia, one in South Carolina, and
one in Louisiana.
The tasks attempted by the Convention were the fol-
lowing : taking care of widows of deceased ministers by
collections from the churches, supplying vacant
churches with ministers when requested, sending min-
isters into destitute places to plant and assist finan-
cially in building up churches, encouraging the mental
development of themselves and young men who had
the ministry in view, cooperating with Bible, Sun-
day school, and tract societies, working against the
use of intoxicating drinks as beverages, and prosecut-
ing missionary work in non-Christian lands. By 1857
nearly one-half of the Convention was composed of
women whose duty was to be agents for the widow's
fund. The American Baptist, organ of the Free Mis-
sion Society, was adopted by the Convention.
During the Civil War
The work of the Convention was interrupted by the
Civil War. Because of his duties Leonard Grimes re-
106 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
fused the chaplaincy of the 54th Massachusetts Regi-
ment, commanded by Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, but
James Underdew left the First African Church of
Philadelphia to serve as chaplain of the 39th Regi-
ment, U. S. Colored Troops. A committee of the Con-
vention, on which was Edmund Kelly, pastor of the
Second Church, New Bedford, Massachusetts, evangel-
ist, and lecturer, whose Diary supplies much that is
known of this group, waited on the President of the
United States. In response to their request the Presi-
dent wrote this letter:
Washington, August 21, 1863
To Whom It May Concern:
Today I am called upon by a committee of colored minis-
ters of the gospel, who express a wish to go within our
military lines and minister to their brethren there. The ob-
ject is a worthy one, and I shall be glad for all facilities to
be afforded them, which may not be inconsistent with, or a
hindrance to our military operations.
Conditions in the South
Negroes of the South threw open their churches for
the earliest schools, and Negro Baptists from the
North went South and built up an internal cohesion
within that race. The more the social, moral, and re-
ligious plight of the Negro that called forth those ef-
forts is brought to light the more nauseating becomes
the true commentary on the institution of slavery. So
prompted by Northern philanthropists, encouraged by
Southern Baptists, inspired by their own successful
leaders and compelled by ambition, Negro preachers
began to organize Sunday schools, churches, associa-
Negro Baptists 107
tions and conventions. 1 In slavery times the preachers
had come largely from the skilled mechanic and arti-
san class. Now whatever tendency there had been
toward establishing a norm of belief in the denomina-
tion was set back by a rush for holy orders from all
classes of society. Since some Baptists in Louisiana
practiced the sprinkling of infants through the in-
fluence of the Catholics, it is believable that Southern
Negroes might have developed a type of religion all
their own had they been left to themselves.
Southern Missionary Labors
But that was not the case. At the twenty-fifth anni-
versary of the Missionary Convention, when Leonard
Grimes was reelected president, Baptists of New Eng-
land, Virginia, Tennessee, and Georgia were repre-
sented, and $5,000 annually was reported as expended
on agents and missionaries at the South. These la-
borers suffered more than any other class of mission-
Northwestern and Southern Conventions
At the outbreak of the war there was no similar or-
ganization in the West. The Western Colored Baptist
Association, organized at St. Louis in 1853 for the up-
building of the churches, had had no meeting since
1859 although it had extended its program to include
the formal training of ministers. In 1863 the Wood
1. The earliest state conventions were in Kentucky
(1865), North Carolina (1866), followed by Virginia and
108 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
River Association resolved to reorganize a Western
Convention; so the Northwestern and Southern Bap-
tist Convention was formed in St. Louis in June, 1864.
At the first session twenty-six churches from Illinois,
Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, Tennessee, Louisiana, Missis-
sippi, and Arkansas were represented. As an agent of
the Convention William Troy explored the Mississippi
as a vast field of labor, and Jesse Freeman Boulden of
Illinois went to work at Natchez.
Consolidated Missionarj^ Convention
President William P. Newman, then pastor of the
Union Church of Cincinnati, believed that the Free
Mission Society, the Missionary Convention, and the
Northwestern and Southern Convention should unite.
He died in August, 1866, just a few weeks before the
Missionary Convention and the Northwestern and
Southern Convention agreed at Richmond to become
the Consolidated American Baptist Missionary Con-
vention. Its objectives were the moral, intellectual,
and religious growth of the denomination; delibera-
tion upon questions of general concern, and devising
plans to bring the churches and the Negro race closer
together. By 1867 all of the officers of the Consol-
idated Convention, except the corresponding secretary,
were from the West or South.
Its work was carried on through departments or
broads. In Brooklyn in December, 1868, the Conven-
tion started the Sunbeam, a Sunday school paper which
grew to 6,000 copies. In six years a Printing Depart-
Negro Baptists 109
ment which employed fifteen persons of whom fourteen
were Negroes, was in full operation and issued the
People's Journal, a Juvenile, paper, said to have had
10,000 subscribers, the National Monitor, with a re-
ported circulation of 76,000, and Sunday school litera-
ture. Rufus L. Perry, editor of the organ of the Free
Mission Society, and W. T. Dixon were editors in
An Educational Department was organized in 1869
with headquarters in Brooklyn where it was incor-
porated. Not content with establishing schools in
Tennessee, Mississippi, and Virginia, by 1870 the De-
partment had daring plans for a school in every one
of the late slave states.
Foreign Mission Department
President De Baptist was made the President of the
Free Mission Society in 1870 since it and the Conven-
tion had virtually the same constituency. Constitu-
tional difficulties prevented a merger, but when the
Convention assumed the Haitian mission in 1871, a
Foreign Mission Department became necessary. It
was established in Chicago in 1878.
Successes of the Convention
This organization with its auxiliary departments or
boards was so unique that subsequent generations of
Negro Baptists have never improved upon it. At the
height of its career in 1870 the Consolidated Conven-
110 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
tion had fifty-one missionaries under appointment
in states as far removed as California, New York, and
Mississippi. During the year its missionaries collected
almost all of the $26,044.02 raised, which is worth
comparing with the $22,573.55 received by the South-
ern Convention for that fiscal year.
In 1872 when the Convention divided itself into six
districts covering the entire country, it paved the
way for its disruption. Three of those districts be-
came independent conventions. The Baptist General
Association of the Western States and Territories,
1873, turned attention first to the building of the
West and later to Africa while the New England Bap-
tist Missionary Convention, 1874, has continued the
most effective Baptist organization in the East. The
Southwestern and Southern Missionary Baptist Con-
vention began in 1874 with its first session in 1875. The
constituency from Tennessee, Kentucky, and Alabama
resolved to cooperate with Northern Baptists. After
a few years both this and the Consolidated Convention
existed in name only.
Rufus L. Perry of Brooklyn, the corresponding sec-
retary from beginning to end, and Richard De Baptist
of Chicago, the president during the formative period,
1867-1870, 1872-3, stand out as leaders among the Ne-
gro Baptists. Perry twice a runaway to Canada where
he taught school, prepared for the ministry at Kala-
Negro Baptists 111
mazoo (Michigan) Theological Seminary. Sometimes a
pastor but better known as a missionary and a writer,
he brought his literary career to a climax in 1893 by
issuing The Cushite or the Descendants of Ham as
Found in the Sacred Scriptures and in the Writings of
Ancient Historians and Poets from Noah to the Chris-
tian Era. Richard De Baptist (1831-1901), born in
Fredericksburg, Virginia, and early educated by his
parents, was the statistician of the denomination and
pastor of the Olivet Church of Chicago for nineteen
years, during which time he built two church houses.
The Race Consciousness
The Consolidated Convention welded Negro Bap-
tists together and unified their leadership. Not with-
out keen competition did it win the control of Negro
Baptist churches which had buoyed up the spirit and
saved the soul of a people during slavery, and which
were all things to all men during the Reconstruction.
In spite of the fact that representatives of the Con-
vention spoke at important gatherings of Northern
Baptists who had honored Leonard Grimes, Duke Wil-
liam Anderson, and W. T. Dixon with executive posi-
tions in their agencies, the Consolidated Convention
refused absolutely to cooperate with Northern Bap-
tists, for to them cooperation meant subordination.
They were unconsciously expressing the opinions of
any submerged group which appropriates the culture
and ideals of the dominant race or nationality and at
the same time reinterprets them in terms of aspira-
tions of their own. It is important to understand this
racial consciousness to account for the progress of Ne-
112 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
Foreign Mission Convention
When W. W. Colley was recalled by the Southern
Baptists from Africa in 1879 that act inspired the Vir-
ginia State Convention to send him throughout the
country to arouse interest in a Negro Foreign Mis-
sion Convention. A meeting was called on November
24, 1880, at Montgomery, Alabama, and the Baptist
Foreign Mission Convention of the United States of
America was formed by one hundred twelve delegates
from Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia, Texas,
North Carolina, Georgia, Arkansas, Louisiana, and
Florida. W. H. McAlpine of Alabama was elected
president, and W. W. Colley, corresponding secretary.
A Foreign Mission Board was located at Richmond to
have oversight of the ''diffusion of the gospel of Je-
sus Christ on the Continent of Africa and elsewhere."
The results of the Foreign Mission Convention are
not measured wholly by the ten missionaries sent to
Africa, 1 nor by the more than three hundred Africans
converted, nor by the $30,000 contributed. The conven-
tion gave Negroes an international mind and turned
the attention of thousands of Negroes to such things
as smoking and the liquor traffic. It gave women and
children a place in its official family, due wholly
1. In 1881 James O. Hayes, already an emigrant to Li-
beria, representing the North Carolina State Convention,
was adopted, and two years later the Convention sent out
J. H. Prestley and wife, W. W. Colley and wife, J. J. Coles,
and H. McKinney. By 1887 H. McKinney, J. J. Coles, Lucy
Coles, J. J. Diggs, E. B. Topp and wife with four native
helpers were in Liberia. By 1893 all had either died or been
Negro Baptists 113
to Joanna P. Moore whose work was endorsed in strong
The very democracy of the Convention with un-
trained people was a source of weakness. The weight
of its own strength was crushing the life out of it.
Thus handicapped, the Convention adopted at least
nine different plans for raising funds for the work,
one of which was the division of the territory into
districts similar to the plan of the ill-fated Consoli-
dated Convention. Since more than half of the money
was given by the Baptists of Virginia, in 1885 the
First Foreign Mission District, comprising Maryland,
Virginia, and the District of Columbia, was created
with some half dozen other districts.
American National Convention
Because the Foreign Mission Convention repeatedly
refused overtures of cooperation from the Northern
Baptists, it was believed that there was a place for a
Convention that would cooperate with them. William
J. Simmons, president of State University, on April 9,
1886, issued a call to clergy and laymen to meet in a
national convention. On August 25 of that year
representatives of twenty-six states and the District
of Columbia convened in St. Louis and organized the
American National Baptist Convention. The Minutes
report that in the delegation "were graduates of law,
medicine, and theology; professors of Philosophy,
German, French, Latin, Greek, and Hebrew; a num-
114 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
ber of State ex-representatives and ex-senators; two
ex-lieutenant governors; editors and teachers not a
few; a Baptist senator from Mississippi; and a Bap-
tist missionary from London, England."
This group was singular for a number of things.
After the ejection of Negroes from politics in the
South following Reconstruction, the preachers in poli-
tics returned to their ministry while some politicians
who were not preachers surreptitiously got a call to
preach. Thus political methods got a strangle hold on
Negro Baptists. In a sense the American Convention
was a replica of the Northern societies and cooperated
with many groups such as the National Temperance
Society of New York of which J. J. Spelman was a
lecturer for the Negroes. Miss Lucy Wilmot Smith,
historian, was the first woman to have an official po-
sition in a national Negro Baptist organization. Ne-
groes were also encouraged to write.
William J. Simmons, Versatile President
The Foreign Mission Convention memoralized Wil-
liam J. Simmons at his death at forty years of age in
1890 in these words: "We have lost the foremost Ne-
gro Baptist in the world, and one of the greatest Ne-
groes that ever lived." He was the organizer and pres-
ident of the American National Baptist Convention;
pastor of the Berean Church, Louisville, Kentucky;
president of the National Negro Press Association;
president, State (now Municipal) University of Louis-
Negro Baptists 115
ville; editor, the American Baptist, Our Women and
Children, and the proposed National Baptist Maga-
zine; author, Men of Mark: Emminent, Progressive
and Rising, with an Introductory Sketch of the Author
by Reverend Henry M. Turner (1140 pages), and dis-
trict secertary for the South under appointment of
the Home Mission Society. Patriot and politician,
educator and editor, pastor and preacher, orator and
organizer were some of his titles. But even more!
For two years beginning with 1868 the query came
before the Wood River Association "to find out the
best mode and place for getting a D. D.," but prior to
the American Convention only three Negro Baptists
with honorary degrees have been found. They were
Theodore Doughty Miller, D. D., 1884, pastor of the
First African Church, Philadelphia, and sometime
preacher before the Philadelphia Association; William
J. Simmons, A. B. (Howard, 1873), D. D. (Wilber-
force, 1885), and E. M. Brawley, A. B. (Bucknell,
1875), D. D. (State, 1885), pastor, missionary, col-
lege president, shaper of the educational policy of
South Carolina Baptists. After that the granting of
degrees was forced on Home Mission schools as it be-
came the favorite pastime of the schools controlled
by Negroes. Preachers became the traditional doc-
tors; teachers, "Fessors." Negro Baptists became as
titled as the French nobility before the Revolution, and
so Howard, Wilberforce, and Selma decreed that the
president of the American Baptist Convention should
be William John Simmons, A. M., D. D., LL. D.
116 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
At such a time Negro schools were especially popu-
lar, and every State in the South was urged by the
Convention to foster Baptist schools. Some of the
best known schools of higher education supported by
Negro Baptists were Selma (Alabama) University,
1878; State (now Municipal) University of Louisville,
Kentucky, 1879; Gaudaloupe College of Seguine,
Texas, 1884; and Arkansas (Little Rock) Baptist Col-
National Education Convention
The National Baptist Education Convention was
begun in Washington, D. C, May 16, 1892/ to secure
data and statistics of the denomination; to assist
graduates of the schools in securing positions; to pro-
vide a fund for the assistance of promising young men
and women ; and to bring together the educators of
the Negro Baptists. Three acres of land were owned
in Maryland between Washington and Baltimore on
which summer chautauquas were to be held. Philip
F. Morris of Lynchburg, Virginia, was president, but
he did not carry out the objects of the Convention be-
cause a plan to consolidate all of the national conven-
tions was being perfected.
National Convention of the United States of America
The mission work of the Baptist African (formerly
the Baptist General Association) and the New Eng-
land conventions was united under the Foreign Mis-
1. The National Baptist Magazine. October, 1891, 24f.;
Minutes Virginia Baptist State Convention, 1893, 21f., 23.
Negro Baptists 117
sion Convention in 1893. In Atlanta, Georgia, Septem-
ber 24, 1895, the Foreign Mission Convention, the
American National Convention, and the National
Education Convention became the National Bap-
tist Convention of the United States of America
with Elias C. Morris, president. The depart-
mental method of organization of the Consolidated
Convention was adopted whereby the Foreign
Mission Board, the Home Mission Board, and the Edu-
cational Board took the places of their respective con-
ventions. The Baptist Young People's Union Board
(1899), the Benefit Board (1905), the Publishing
Board (1905), the Church Extension Board (1916),
and the Cradle Roll Board (1927) have since been
added with auxiliaries such as the Woman's Conven-
tion (1900), which supports the National Training
School for Women and Girls in Washington, D. C. ; the
First District Convention of the Central and Western
States, practically independent from its beginning in
1904; the Sunday School and B. Y. P. U. Congress
(1905), and the Laymen's League.
Foreign Mission Board and the Lott Gary Foreign
At the outset there was friction between the
Foreign Mission Board and the Convention when head-
quarters were moved to Louisville (later to Philadel-
phia) . Before this could be settled the Baptists of the
East were stirred over the Convention publishing its
own literature. So the Baptists of the First Foreign
Mission District organized the First District Foreign
Mission Convention on December 16, 1897, at Wash-
ington, D. C. The name was changed in two years to
118 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
the Lott Cary Baptist Foreign Mission Convention. In
1930 this Convention with its Woman's Auxiliary and
Junior Department reported 10 American missionaries
in Liberia, West Africa, doing industrial and evangel-
ical work, and 4 in Haiti. The Convention publishes
the Lott Cary Herald. Headquarters are in Washing-
ton, D. C. The Foreign Mission Board of the Nation-
al Convention contributes to 25 missionaries and 35
native workers in South Africa, West Africa, East
Africa, and the British West Indies. The Mission
Herald is the official organ.
In 1895 the American Baptist Home Mission Society
proposed an elaborate plan for cooperation with Ne-
groes in thirteen states. After two or three years of
conference and discussion in many cities the only re-
sult was an intensification of the desire of many Ne-
groes for schools managed entirely by their own race.
For years there was bitter feeling between the "Co-
operationists" and the "Anti-cooperationists" ; and
soon schools supported and controlled by Negroes were
established in Georgia, Texas, Virginia, and other
states. Virginia (Lynchburg) Seminary and College,
1898, is probably the best known. Here the Southern
Convention entered in 1900 by ratifying a plan of co-
operation between the Home Boards of the Southern
(white) and National conventions and in 1904 amend-
ed the plan by leaving Negro education to the Home
Mission Society but offered dollar for dollar for mis-
Negro Baptists 119
Because of difficulty since 1891 in having articles by
Negro Baptists published, plans to meet this difficulty
assumed business proportions in 1896 when the Home
Board was "charged" to publish Sunday school liter-
ature for the Convention. Beginning with few mate-
rial assets in a room 8 by 10 feet but with the inimi-
table R. H. Boyd, secretary of the Board, the first liter-
ature came out in 1897 as reprints from the literature
of the Southern Baptists in backs printed by Boyd.
Although sneeringly referred to as "white guts in
black backs," the project succeeded from the first,
eventually demanding seven buildings to house the
publishing of Sunday school literature, tracts, books,
and hymnals. The work was enlarged to do job
printing, to serve as jobber for publishers, to supply
churches with furniture, and to distribute Negro doHs : ,,
first introduced in America by Boyd from Germany,,
The operating expenses were reported to amount to>
$400 a day, and thousands of dollars were contributed
to missions. The Publishing Board was incorporated
in 1895, but continued auxiliary to the Home Board
until 1905. Thus did Rev. R. H. Boyd make his place
among the successful business leaders of the Negro
race and world.
The Educational Board has perhaps done little other
than report statistics of purely Negro Baptist schools,
which number about 125 with property valued at ap-
proximately $2,000,000. The education of Negro
120 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
preachers had been entirely connected with schools
and colleges in the different states until the Southern
Baptists cooperated with the National Convention in
opening the American Seminary in Nashville in 1924.
Young People's Union Board
Undaunted by numerous hindrances, the late E. W.
D. Isaac has made the Baptist Young People's Union
Board at Nashville indispensable to over 12,000 young
people's societies, affiliating with the Convention. The
Board trains Christian workers, prints and distributes
supplies, and helps conduct the annual Sunday School
and B. Y. P. U. Congress.
National Convention, Unincorporated
The magnanimous Elias C. Morris (1855-1922) kept
all of these divergent groups together. The issue as
to who owned the Publishing House was the only event
that disturbed the peace of the National Baptists in
the twentieth century. After a series of investigations
friends of Boyd lined up against, and, of Morris, for
denominational control of this agency, and both fac-
tions were interested in the financial control of the
plant. 1 Along the lines of this cleavage the Convention
was disrupted at Chicago in 1915. The delegates fol-
lowing Secretary Boyd formed at that time what be-
came the National Baptist Convention, Unincorporated,
with the Publishing Board as the hub of that body.
1. Private correspondence of E. J. Fisher, chairman of
Negro Baptists 121
All other auxiliaries and boards remained together
and incorporated the National Baptist Convention
which by August, 1925, had completed a $600,000
building in downtown Nashville to house the newly or-
ganized Sunday School Publishing Board. The Na-
tional Baptist Voice became their official organ.
Work of the Unincorporated Convention
The former National organ, the National Baptist
Union-Review, continued with the Unincorporated
Convention but without the services of the editor who
went to the Voice. The Unincorporated Convention set
about to establish boards. Through a joint commission
with the Lott Cary Convention in 1924 it was agreed
that each convention was to maintain its autonomy
while prosecuting all foreign mission work through
the Lott Cary Convention and other activities through
the Unincorporated Convention. This arrangement
gives the National Convention a large field in which to
distribute its literature and the Lott Cary Convention
an occasion to realize its national strivings.
Had the now defunct Negro Baptist Educational So-
ciety of the New England, Central and Western States,
organized in Chicago in 1922, been kept alive by those
interested in its organization, the National Convention,
Incorporated, probably would have become a Southern
institution. As it now is the Incorporated Convention
is the recognized representative of the Negro Bap-
tists of America by the Northern Convention, the
122 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
Southern Convention, and the Baptist World Alliance.
The statistics of Negro Baptists, however, include the
groups in all the conventions and among the Northern
Baptists. In 1930 there were 17,743 ministers, 22,-
081 churches, and 3,750,000 communicants with prop-
erty valued at $103,465,800, the largest organization
that is controlled by Negroes in the world, over a
million more Negro Christians, than in all other de-
nominations combined, practically one-third of the Ne-
gro race in America. Membership in all the conven-
tions is on a financial basis.
THE FAMILY CIRCLE
The Baptist Family
Baptists have insisted that the world was a brother-
hood and have come to recognize kindred groups and
individuals who are immersed on a profession of their
religious faith as members of the family circle. While
some have no Baptist name to show their family re-
lationship, others call themselves "Baptists." All dif-
fer in some particulars from the groups of the denomi-
nation already reviewed.
The Disciples, representing over 2,000,000 members
and nearly 15,000 churches with 9,896 ministers, the
largest body of Protestants that has originated in
America, are so closely identified with the Baptists that
they can be designated a "big brother" in the de-
nomination. Aided by the strong emotional leader-
ship of Alexander Campbell, initiator of Scriptural
"Reform," of Barton W. Stone, a popular organizer in
Kentucky, of Walter Scott, known for featuring bap-
tism "unto remission of sins," and of others, and
armed with the Christian Baptist which became the
124 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
Millennial Harbinger to spread its propaganda, a new
denomination, the Disciples of Christ, arose from the
confusion of divided Baptist churches and associations.
There are two bodies of the Disciples now, but they
are united in their acceptance of the Scriptures as a
guide of faith and in the practice of believers baptism
by immersion. A historian 1 of this group makes a state-
ment to the effect that the Baptists tolerated Alex-
ander Campbell, and, if history repeats itself, his fol-
lowers can tolerate the Baptists. Forward looking
persons among the Baptists and the Disciples see noth-
ing in the way of the union of these two denomina-
The five bodies of Dunkards with 166,867 members
and 3,229 ministers constitute a growing Baptistic
group, especially among the Germans with whom they
originated in Schwarzenau, Germany, in 1708. After
1718 until the thirties they are found as immigrants
in Pennsylvania whither they continued to come to
escape persecution. From a kneeling position the
Dunkard candidate for baptism is thrice dipt forward,
once for each person in the Trinity; the ministry in-
cludes bishops, ministers, and deacons ; and in the wor-
ship service feet washing, the holy kiss, and love feasts
are practiced. Along with those religious practices
have developed odd social customs of dress and deport-
ment. The strict discipline has led to division into
1. Garrison, Religion Follows the Frontier.
The Family Circle 125
five bodies, with one keeping the seventh day of the
week as the Sabbath. In their beliefs they are similar
to some anti-missionary Baptists, opposing Sunday
schools, higher education until recently, fraternal or-
ganizations, and a paid ministry. It is to their praise,
however, that the Dunkards have taken high ground
in condemning slavery and strong drink. Because of
their origin the Dunkards must not become confused
with German Baptists in America nor with other
sects of Brethren, as they call themselves. These
Brethren (Plymouth, River, Social, and United) also
The Church of God (Winebrenner)
One branch of the Church of God (Winebrenner)
centers in Pennsylvania, the sanctuary of the small
sects. John Winebrenner, pastor of the German Re-
formed Church at Harrisburg, separated from his de-
nomination because of its disapproval of his revival,
which had telling results. New churches were
formed, and those inclined to accept the Scriptures
alone for guidance formed the Church of God in 1830,
repudiating sectarian names. They support an acad-
emy and a college and have their own publishing house
at Harrisburg. They believe in immersion, the Lord's
Supper, which is served in the evening, feet washing,
and an itinerant ministry appointed by elders.
The Church of God (Reformation Movement)
The other branch of the Church of God, Reforma-
tion Movement, has 1703 ministers, 605 churches, and
126 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
29,123 members, about four times as many ministers,
one-fourth more churches, but just 252 more mem-
bers than the Winebrennerians. According to their
historian the movement began about 1880 from the
holiness agitation, when Daniel S. Warner and other
ministers became unconnected with humanly organized
churches and accepted Scriptural standards. They
have carefully avoided recording their history around
churches and center everything around their weekly
journal, the Gospel Trumpet, which has had a con-
tinuous if not regular existence since January 1, 1881.
Having had two earlier locations each in Indiana, Ohio,
and Michigan, the Gospel Trumpet became firmly es-
tablished in Moundsville, West Virginia, until it was
moved in 1906 to denominational headquarters in
Anderson, Indiana. Added to immersion and the
Lord's Supper, the distinctive beliefs of the
Church of God are sanctification following con-
version, foot-washing, divine healing, non-par-
ticipation in war, and chiefly that the church
is divinely organized and governed. Their purely
voluntary General Ministerial Assembly, held an-
nually in June at the time of the International
Camp-Meeting at Anderson, elects a Missionary Board,
through which it hopes to keep in contact with the
Church of God in Europe and in nine non-Christian
countries, a Board of Church Extension and Home
Missions, which is mostly evangelistic, and a Board of
Sunday Schools and Religious Education. The pub-
lic meetings are held in a tabernacle, seating 6,000.
The Anderson Bible School and Seminary and its sub-
sidiary, the Southern Bible Institute, Augusta, Geor-
gia, are their schools. The Gospel Trumpet Company
The Family Circle 127
maintains an Old People's Home and publishes the
Trumpet in English, Spanish, Arabic, Greek, and
other languages, and for the blind, and by a separate
allied concern for the Germans. Women are accorded
places as preachers.
The Churches of God (General Assembly)
A much smaller sect known as the Churches of God,
General Assembly, has 200 churches with an average
of 23 members. The Negro divisions, which immerse
but also have a plurality of church officers, wash the
saints' feet, and use unleavened bread and water in
communion, are also Baptistic. The Church of God
and Saints of Christ (1896) was organized in Kansas
by William S. Crowdy. Three divisions of the Churches
of the Living God have organized in the West. The
Church of the Living God was begun in Wrightville,
Arkansas, in 1889 by William Christian. The name
was changed in 1915 to Christian Workers for Fel-
lowship. Two secessions from this sect have been the
Church of the Living God (General Assembly) in 1902
and the Church of Christ in God which has consoli-
dated with the parent body. Farther south in Texas
the Church of the Living God began in 1908 as an
organization separate from the white people. There
are about 25,000 of these Christians besides whole
Pentecostal and holiness sects that practice im-
mersion. The facts that Negroes who join other
denominations often insist on immersion and
that some of the strength of those churches
has been recruited from Baptists make it con-
servative to estimate that in their views of bap-
128 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
tism fully one-half of that race belongs to the Bap-
Other Baptistic Sects
There are others even omitting the Arminian and
Eastern Orthodox churches which practice baptism
by immersion but do not limit it to regenerate be-
lievers. In round numbers there are 90,000 Men-
nonites, 4000 Christadelphians, 100,000 Christians, re-
cently merged with the Congregationalists, and 150,-
000 Adventists. This last denomination grew from
the preaching of William Miller, a Baptist farmer of
Low Hampton, New York. After 1831 his interpreta-
tions of the prophecies of Daniel convinced hundreds
that Christ would return and that the Millenium
would be established in 1843-1844. Although his cal-
culations proved incorrect, a general conference of Ad-
ventists was formed in 1845. Some of them worship
on the seventh day, and all expect the speedy return
Current Issues Dividing Baptist Family
On the one hand, the thirteen denominations named
represent approximately three and a half million peo-
ple who among other things hold to some Baptist ten-
ets that were won by Baptists through suffering be-
fore those denominations were organized. On the
other hand, there are fifteen bodies with a constitu-
ency of 480,350 members in 1931 who admit that they
are in the family circle by calling themselves "Bap-
tist," regardless of the way they modify the name.
The Family Circle 129
While providing in their name a safety valve for their
denominational sentiment, these latter bodies, in strik-
ing contrast with the aforenamed positive Baptistic
groups, have continued mainly as survivals of negative
protests respecting current issues in the developing
Doctrines — General Six-Principle Baptists
First, matters of belief had to be settled. Arminian
and Calvinistic differences existed among American
Baptists as they did among English Baptists. The
early churches including the First at Providence were
Calvinistic. The controversy that ensued in that
church has been mentioned (page 26), when the "lay-
ing on of hands" and the further introduction of Ar-
minian views divided that church as it subsequently
did many others. The holders of the doctrine of lay-
ing on of hands, the General Six-Principle Baptists,
have existed since 1639 and were numerous enough to
hold an annual meeting in New England in 1670. Al-
though these Arminian churches hold membership in
The International Old Baptist Union, the body has con-
tinually weakened to 6 churches and less than 300
members. As Calvinism at last triumphed, largely
through the influence of the Philadelphia Association,
the majority of the churches accepted that belief.
Seventh Day Baptists
With that issue settled the day of worship became
a mooted question. After the settling of Stephen
Mumford in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1664, atten-
130 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
tion was attracted to his observance of the seventh
day as the Sabbath as he with other Sabbatarian Bap-
tists had done in England. The Newport Church was
divided, and the first Seventh Day Baptist church in
America was formed in 1671. From other similar
early beginnings in Philadelphia and Piscataway, New
Jersey, the Seventh Day Baptists, excluding the Ger-
man Seventh Day Baptists (Dunkards) organized in
1728, have increased to 67 churches and 7,264 mem-
bers spread in 21 states. They have a denominational
missionary, tract, and educational society and differ
only in the day of worship from the rest of the de-
nomination. They are affiliated with the Federal Coun-
cil of the Churches of Christ in America.
Revivals— Separate, Regular, United, and Kindred
Groups of Baptists
Should the denomination take part in the revival
movement that was sweeping the country under Ed-
wards, Whitfield, and others? was the next question
that had to be answered. An answer to that question
might involve a modification of the Calvinism and con-
servative views of some Baptists, but it certainly
would not be wholly doctrinal. The Separate Baptists
responded by joining in the revival, but the Regular
Baptists held aloof. In Virginia these groups formed
the United Baptist Churches of Christ in 1787. As
a matter of fact, the United Baptists have attempted
to unify the Separate and Regular groups from the
beginning of the seventeenth century but have only
added another member to the family. There is more
or less fellowship among these groups and with those
The Family Circle 131
listed in the 1926 Census as the Duck River and Kin-
dred Associations of Baptists. Most of the churches
are confined to the South and are not averse to foot-
washing. It might be interesting to note that of the
733 churches in these four groups only 23 are urban.
Northern Free Baptists
At such a time as the Great Awakening evangelical
Arminianism was inevitably revived. It did not have
to change anything; it was ready. Benjamin Randall
(1759-1808) was its chief exponent. Having heard of
Whitfield's death just two days after he had heard him
preach at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in September,
1770, young Randall became converted and felt called
to carry on. He left the Congregational Church and
was baptized into the fellowship of the Baptist church
at Berwick, Maine. In 1778 he located in New Dur-
ham, New Hampshire, and became widely known as an
evangelist who preached that every person might be
saved, for God was willing and had made atonement
for those who would come. Baptists were not ready
for that teaching, and so Randall was disfellowshipped
by a council of brethren. Others ordained him in
1780 for the newly organized Baptist church in Dur-
ham which agreed with those views. In ten years
his followers, now called Free Will Baptists, had 18
churches and about 1800 members. They formed a
General Conference in 1827. Several divisions oc-
curred in the thirties, one that has continued being the
Bullockites, reporting now but 2 churches and 36 mem-
bers. The Morning Star, official organ of the Free
Baptists, appeared in 1826. Because of the encourage-
132 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
ment of English General Baptists a Foreign Mission
Society was organized in 1833, and labors were soon
begun in North India. Their Home Mission Society
began in 1834, and their Education Society, in 1840.
The scope of the denomination was so broadened in
1841 as to designate and to include all Free, Free-
Communion, Free Will, and Open Communion Bap-
tists. The denomination early favored Sunday
schools and temperance and vigorously opposed
slavery and freemasonry. That group of approxi-
mately 150,000 members became merged in 1911 with
the Northern Baptists.
Southern Free Baptists
The stand of that denomination against slavery
automatically made the organization a Northern insti-
tution. Yet at the South was a similar group, an off-
shoot of the Welch Tract Church from which Paul
Palmer had gone to North Carolina and gathered a
church in 1727. In 1752 they had an organization of
16 churches and probably 1000 communicants. They
continually lost ground till reduced to 4 churches as
Calvinism advanced, but by repeated reinforcement
from the North the Free Will cause was revived. It
now includes 1024 churches and 79,952 members,
centering around North Carolina with a college at Ay-
den and an orphanage at Middlesex. A mission is sup-
ported in Bengal. They practice foot-washing and
anointing the sick with oil.
Negro Free Baptists
Not until 1901 was the Negro constituency of that
denomination organized separately as the United
The Family Circle 133
American Free Will Baptists. They enroll 166 churches
and 13,396 members who as yet are unorganized in
missionary work, but who do much through their
Woman's Home Mission and Educational Society.
The Free Baptists did not comprise all those who
persisted in their Arminian views. The General Bap-
tists were revived on the frontier in 1823 with the or-
ganization of a church in Vanderburg, County, In-
diana, by Benoni Stinson. A General Association
was organized in 1870 to bring "into more intimate
and fraternal relation and effective cooperation va-
rious bodies of liberal Baptists." This objective has
failed to bear fruit with the Free Will and Separate
Baptists with whom efforts for union have been con-
spicuously unsuccessful. The General Association, how-
ever, perfected a basis of cooperation with the Northern
Baptist Convention in 1915. They have a home mission
board; a foreign mission board, supervising labor in
Guam ; Oakland City College in Indiana, and a publish-
ing house in Indiana. They have 465 churches and
31,501 members in the states of Indiana, Illinois, Mis-
souri, Nebraska, Kansas, Tennessee, Arkansas, Okla-
homa, and California. Probably the influence of the
General Baptists is seen among Negroes in the name
General Association given to their state organization
instead of state convention even in a state like Ken-
tucky where there is no formally named state conven-
134 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
Missions — Two-Seed-in-the-Sjpirit Predestinarian
The Baptists next must decide whether the denomi-
nation should become missionary. The causes of the
anti-missionary spirit have been reviewed in Chapter
IV. The pro-missionists, comprising the majority of
Northern, Southern, and Negro Baptists, were unof-
ficially designated as "missionary" Baptists. Their
most bitter antagonist was Daniel Parker, native of
Virginia and ordained in Tennessee where he spread
his dissent into Kentucky. Removing to southeastern
Illinois in 1817 where he remained throughout life,
he developed his active anti-missionism. A Public Ad-
dress to the Baptist Society was printed by him in
1820 and 1824 and circulated to oppose the mission ef-
forts of the Triennial Convention. In 1829 he pub-
lished the Church Advocate, a monthly, which was
used to spread his Two-Seed-in-the-Spirit Doctrine that
had been circulated in pamphlet form in 1826. His
belief harked back to ancient Manichaeism, specify-
ing that the seed of God was elected to salvation while
the seed of the devil, to damnation. Consequently, it
was foolish to try to change a man's destiny. Though
the Two-Seed-in-the-Spirit Predestinarian Baptists
have modified their Calvinism, and perhaps because
they have modified it, they still exist but with
only 27 churches and 304 members in 5 Southern
All of the anti-effort Baptists were frequently re-
ferred to as "Anti-Mission," "Old School," "Land-
mark," "Hard Shell," and "Primitive," although only
The Family Circle 135
Primitive is the other name for 81,374 members of the
Baptist family who have 2,267 churches. They are
represented in 32 states and the District of Columbia,
tracing the beginning of their protest against the use
of human means in salvation to the Kehukee Associa-
tion of North Carolina in 1827. The Primitive as-
sociations have organized no denominational agencies
although they do some educational and evangelistic
work. They generally oppose Sunday schools, and
secret societies, and instrumental music in church
services. They practice foot-washing.
Negro Primitive Baptists
In 1865 the Negro Primitive Baptists were organized
separately from that white denomination at Columbia,
Tennessee, by Thomas Williamson. Seeking ordina-
tion from his denomination without success, he with
two others, nevertheless, felt the "power of the Holy
Ghost" and began to preach, baptize, and establish
churches. Mostly in the South has the movement
spread, so that there are 925 churches and 43,978
members who believe in immersion, the Lord's Sup-
per, and washing the saints' feet.
Cooperation — Independent Baptists
With so much being done in behalf of the non-
English speaking and other people, the question was
nevertheless raised whether a cooperative relation-
ship with the English speaking churches was best
suited for the American development of the non-
English speaking churches. Some Swedish Free
136 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
Baptists, immigrants to this country, held their
first conference at Dassel, Minnesota, in 1893 as
the Swedish Independent Baptist Church, later
changed to the Scandinavian Independent Baptist De-
nomination of America. This body was divided, and
one group in 1912 was incorporated and named the
Scandinavian Independent Baptist Denomination of the
United States of America. In 1923 the other group
took the name of the Scandinavian Free Baptist So-
ciety of the United States of America. The two groups
consolidated at Garden Valley, Wisconsin, in 1927 and
adopted the name of the Independent Baptist Church
of America. The object of that body of 13 churches
and 222 members is to carry on an independent gospel
work at home and abroad.
By religious statesmanship the Baptist family was
saved from answering the most important religious
question of the twentieth century, namely, whether
the denomination should be abreast of the scientific
thinking of recognized scholars of the world. From
the denominational statements which have been ac-
cepted as policies respecting Calvinism, the day of
worship, revivalism, missionary endeavors, and work
among non-English speaking and other people, it was
feared that in time the denomination would swing to
the rationalistic views on this subject. Modern thought
was already prevalent among them. The denomina-
tion had been organized. Urbanization was rapidly
progressing. As practical duties were mastered, sim-
ple faith was challenged in proportion as education
The Family Circle 137
became widely diffused. Attention was correspond-
ingly turned to philosophic speculations and critical
investigations of all fields of culture, including religion.
Influence on the Baptists
Without attempting to trace the historical develop-
ment of modern thought, it will suffice here to point out
a few high points. At the Southern Baptist Theolog-
ical Seminary Dr. Crawford H. Toy resigned under
pressure after the publication of a non-Messianic in-
terpretation of Isaiah fifty-three. At Harvard he be-
came a Theist. Here and there a professor of The-
ology, including the well-known Augustus Hopkins
Strong and the influential William Newton Clarke, ex-
pounded doctrines not identical with what the majority
of Baptists believed orthodox. Their views did not
pass unchallenged, but when the Divinity School of
the University of Chicago openly espoused liberal re-
ligion, concerted opposition was aroused. Because of
his liberal views Dr. George Burman Foster was trans-
ferred from the faculty of the Divinity School to the
faculty of the University. Baptists became divided
into two groups, fundamentalists and liberalists, the
fundamentalists going as far as to establish a theo-
logical seminary in two centers where Baptist theo-
logical education had been prosecuted for years. Al-
though Baptist churches in Illinois withdrew to the
Southern Convention because of the growing liberal-
ism of the Northern Baptists, nevertheless it is in-
teresting to note that the sharpest conflict in the Bap-
tist family over the issue of liberalism has been in
138 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
American Baptist Association
In protest against the spreading liberal views
the Baptist General Association, began in 1905 as
perpetuators of apostolic succession, was reorganized
at Texarkana, Ark.-Tex., in 1924, with a new em-
phasis as the present American Baptist Association.
At this session in the height of the fundamental-lib-
eral stir they felt called upon to express their belief in
"the infallible verbal inspiration of the whole Bible;
the Triune God; the Genesis account of creation; the
deity of Jesus Christ, and the Virgin Birth; his cruci-
fixion and suffering, as vicarious and substitutionary;
the bodily resurrection and ascension of Christ and the
bodily resurrection of his saints; the second coming
of Christ, personal and bodily, as the crowning event
of this Gentile Age." In 1926 they numbered 1,431
churches and 117,858 members with 2 colleges, 2 or-
phanages, and 2 newspapers. Their missionary and
Sunday school work is done through committees.
Educational institutions generally and Baptist
schools in particular have given social direction to the
progress of the denomination. A list compiled in 1930
of 58 Northern, 96 Southern, and 49 Negro Baptist
schools with 77,087 students, property worth $130,-
884,000, and endowments of $155,378,492 gains sig-
nificance as a factor in social development.
Schools of Higher Education
Some schools of higher education founded by Bap-
tists by 1845 and now existing in the East are Brown
University, Providence, Rhode Island, 1764 ; Colby Col-
lege, Waterville, Maine, 1813; Colgate University,
Hamilton, New York, 1818 ; Columbian College, Wash-
ington, D. C, now the non-denominational George
Washington University, 1821; and Bucknell College,
Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, 1845. In the West are Shurt-
leff College, Alton, Illinois, 1827; Denison Uni-
versity, Granville, Ohio, 1831; Kalamazoo (Michigan)
College 1833; and Franklin (Indiana) College, 1833.
In the South are Furman University, Greenville, South
Carolina, 1826; Mississippi (Clinton) College, 1826;
140 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
Georgetown (Kentucky) College, 1829; Mercer Uni-
versity, Macon, Georgia, 1829; University of Rich-
mond, Virginia, 1832; Union University, Jackson,
Tennessee, 1834; Wake Forest (North Carolina) Col-
lege, 1834; Howard College, Birmingham, Alabama,
1842 ; and Baylor University, Waco, Texas, 1845. Yet
the physical plants and endowments of all those schools
then would not now equal the material resources of
one of our great universities.
At Hamilton, New York, (1817) and at Newton Cen-
ter, Massachusetts, (1825) were established the theo-
logical seminaries. From 1850 the founding and
equipment of schools began to makv. re rapid ad-
vances. An effort was made to move the University
and Theological Seminary at Hamilton to Rochester
in 1847. Whereupon, a party rallied to the sup-
port of Hamilton, and another, to Rochester
where the University of Rochester was founded
in 1850. Similarly the Rochester Theological Semi-
nary, founded in 1850 by the New York Baptist
Union for Ministerial Education, came from the
same controversy. Friends came to the support of
the school at Hamilton until in 1870 it was named Col-
gate University in honor of its largest benefactors, the
sons of William Colgate. Since 1928 these two theo-
logical schools have been united at Rochester as the
Colgate-Rochester Divinity School. The Baptist Union
Theological Seminary, Morgan Park, Illinois, (1867)
became the Divinity School of the newly founded Uni-
versity of Chicago in 1890. This University, now non-
Social Progress 141
denominational, ranks with the leading institutions of
learning of the world.
Education Leaders and Policies «
Francis Wayland of Brown, moral and religious
leader, Barnas Sears of Newton and Brown, and Mar-
tin B. Anderson of Rochester, inspiring teachers and
presidents, Alvah Hovey of Newton, theologian, Au-
gustus Hopkins Strong of Rochester, writer, Henry
G. Weston of Crozer (1868), administrator, Booker
Taliaferro Washington of Tuskegee, educator, and Wil-
liam Rainey Harper of Chicago, builder, are a few lead-
ers who set the wheels of educational progress in mo-
tion. It may be, however, that the future denomina-
tional schools will give a different type of training from
the tax-supported institutions ; and will cooperate with
schools of other denominations or even combine with
them, as has been been done in the case of three Ne-
gro institutions in Atlanta which unite in their post-
graduate work under the name of Atlanta University,
while they retain their identity as coordinate and co-
operative schools — Morehouse College for men and
Spelman College for women.
Education for Women
The educational movement has been a factor in giv-
ing woman her rightful place in the churches. Al-
though Oberlin is considered unusual in pointing the
way toward co-education, it must not be overlooked
that Kalamazoo College of Michigan was chartered
the same year on a co-educational basis. Since 1819
when Greenville (South Carolina) Woman's College
began, fully three other women's colleges in the South
142 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
founded prior to 1845 have continued to this day —
Judson of Marion, Alabama, 1838, Limestone of Gaff-
ney, South Carolina, 1845, and Baylor of Belton, Texas,
1845. In 1865 when Matthew Vassar founded and
adequately endowed the woman's college at Pough-
keepsie, New York, which bears his name, a potent in-
fluence for feminine achievement was begun. Women
can now attend the Baptist higher institutions of learn-
ing either as special students or on a coeducational
Joanna P. Moore and Woman's American Baptist
Home Mission Society
Northern antedate Southern Baptists by ten years
in recognizing women in organized denominational
work. Since 1873 Miss Joanna P. Moore (1823-1915)
had been laboring among the Negroes of New Orleans
under a commission of the Home Mission Society but
supported by some ladies in Illinois. Her appeals
were mostly responsible for the formation of the Wom-
an's American Baptist Home Mission Society in 1877,
which commissioned her its first missionary, and which
has subsequently worked mostly among Indian, non-
English speaking, and Negro peoples. Many of this
generation remember Mother Moore. She thought
black, and by her uncommon tact and good sense was
able to lift black women and black children from ig-
norance and superstition not only in New Orleans but
over the Southland.
The tour of investigation of Sophia B. Packard to
New Orleans showed her and her companion, Harriet
Social Progress 143
E. Giles, the plight of black women. In April, 1881,
those two New England women began in the base-
ment of the Friendship Church, Atlanta, Georgia, what
has become Spelman College. Hartshorn Memorial
College, Richmond, Virginia, 1883, is a part of the in-
fluence set in motion by Mother Moore.
Miss Moore among Negro Baptists
Moreover, Miss Moore was present at the organiza-
tion of the Baptist Foreign Mission Convention, and
her puritanic presence was felt in its subsequent de-
liberations and in the American National Baptist Con-
vention and now by Hope, organ of her Fireside School.
The high regard for women among Negro Baptists is
attributable largely to Joanna P. Moore.
Women's Place in the Denomination
Of course, there are other women in the North and
in the South who have been useful, a helpmeet like
Ann Hasseltine Judson, an organizer like Ann J.
Graves, a writer like Hannah Chaplain Conant, and
those wives who, though silent in public, know full well
the pangs of leadership of their husbands. Baptist
women now number 100 to every 70 men in the en-
tire denomination. With equality granted by the Fed-
eral Constitution, it is not surprising that some
churches have recognized women on their official
boards, and in the North a few have been ordained
ministers. The fact that clerical courtesies of the rail-
roads are extended to an increasing number of Baptist
women shows that in practical usefulness hundreds of
them perform ministerial duties.
144 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
Place of Children
The better training of children, too, has developed
simultaneously with the rise of women. The earliest
Baptist Sunday school was in the First Church, Paw-
tucket, Rhode Island, in 1797, but it did not introduce
religious features until 1805. Other schools followed
as people became aware of the value of a child. The
Young Reaper of the New England Baptists was the
first juvenile paper in the United States. Publica-
tions for youths marked the beginning of Sunday
school literature. So today in almost countless ways
through the Sunday school, Christian Endeavor So-
ciety, Baptist Young People's Union, Church Vacation
School, and Week Day religious instruction Baptists
are attempting to influence the habit forming period
of boys and girls for Christian citizenship.
The Press— Denominational Periodicals
People have become more socially enlightened not
only because of educational institutions but because of
the spread of intelligence through modern inventions.
Probably none has had such a unifying, educational,
and stimulating influence as the press. The Baptist
Annual Register (1790) of England supplied the first
printed general religious intelligence among American
Baptists. The Georgia Analytical Repository, a bi-
monthly magazine for "May and June, 1802," with
Henry Holcombe, editor, was the first American Bap-
tist periodical. It failed to receive adequate support.
The Massachusetts Baptist Missionary Magazine, of-
ficial organ of the Massachusetts Baptist Missionary
Social Progress 145
Society, issued in September, 1803, has continued to
this day. In 1817 as the American Baptist Magazine
it became the bi-monthly mouthpiece of the Triennial
Convention, and, confining its issues to missionary in-
telligence in 1835, its name was changed to the Bap-
tist Missionary Magazine the next year. With its field
enlarged to include Home Missions, it is still published
by the Board of Missionary Cooperation under the
name of Missions. The Christian Watchman, begun in
1819, was the first weekly established and survives
as the Watchman-Examiner, after having absorbed
the Christian Reflector (1848) and the Christian Era
(1875) and joined with the Examiner, itself repre-
senting some seven periodicals.
Early State Organs
Some of the older periodicals that have continued
as state papers have been the Christian Index (1821),
continuing the Columbian Star of Washington, started
by Luther Rice, removed to Philadelphia, and now the
organ of the Georgia Baptists; the Religious Herald
(1828) of Virginia; the Biblical Recorder (1833) of
North Carolina, and the Baptist and Reflector (1834)
of Tennessee. The Western (Kentucky) Recorder, in-
debted for its existence to many periodicals but to
none more than the Baptist Banner (1825), was the
pioneer Baptist journal west of the Alleghanies.
Zion's Advocate (1828) in Maine, the Journal and
Messenger (1831) of Ohio, combining papers in Ken-
tucky and Indiana and serving Ohio, Indiana, West
Virginia, and part of Pennsylvania in its day, and
the present popular Christian Herald (1841) of Michi-
146 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
gan were early papers in the North. The Standard
of Chicago, now named The Baptist, variously owned
and named since its first issue as the Christian Times
(1853), is probably the best known in the Northwest.
Of the scores of periodicals edited by Negro Baptists,
the American Baptist of Louisville, Kentucky, begun
in 1879, and the Georgia Baptist, begun by William J.
White of Augusta in 1880, are the oldest. This latter
paper reached England and Africa.
Moulders of Thought
Today a vast body of reading matter is extant —
church school literature, study courses, periodicals of
schools, churches, associations, and conventions and
of all denominational agencies of the Baptist fam-
ily, non-English speaking, Northern, Southern, and
Negro. While they aim to be denominational, they
are also moulders of thought on public questions.
In this connection the use of religious songs as a
means of social regeneration as well as of spiritual
fervor and gospel emphasis is worth noticing. As
dynamic religion became a matter of feeling, the
worship of the early Baptists included the singing of
selections from Watts, Doddridge, Wesley, and oth-
ers like Burkitt. The Negroes used those and melo-
dies of their own which were the results of some ex-
perience in their lives, as "Steal away to Jesus," or
which were based on Wesleyan tunes or meters. Be-
cause of the scarcity of books the hymns were mostly
"lined" from memory. The "spirit" often resulting in
conversions was disseminated through the masses by
Social Progress 147
the leader and congregation shaking hands while sing-
Early Hymns by English Baptists
Some of the better known hymns contributed by
English Baptists to the revival movement are George
Keith's, "How Firm a Foundation," Robert Robinson's,
"Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing," Samuel Sten-
nett's, "Majestic Sweetness Sits Enthroned" and "On
Jordan's Stormy Banks I Stand," Samuel Medley's,
"0 Could I Speak the Matchless Worth," John Faw-
cett's, "Blest Be the Tie That Binds," and later Ed-
ward Mote's, "My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less."
Other denominations recognize also Benjamin Francis
and Miss Anne Steele as important Baptist hymn writ-
Hymns by American Baptists
American Baptists carried on this influence with
early hymns like "0 Could I Find from Day to Day"
by Benjamin Cleveland in 1792 and "The Day Is Past
and Gone" by John Leland in 1804. Samuel Francis
Smith, pastor of the Baptist church at Waterville,
Maine, made a lasting contribution to hymnology when
he wrote "My Country! 'Tis of Thee" in 1883. A doc-
trinal theme such as baptism in some hymns of Doctor
Smith, Thomas Baldwin, and Adoniram Judson was
often stressed. It is not a mere coincidence that those
1. See Burkitt and Read, A Concise History of the Kehu-
kee Baptist Association, 144f.
148 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
men not only devoted their talents to indoctrinating
the churches by their songs but carried the exuberant
spirit into the social tasks of missions of the denomi-
nation, at the home base and on the field. In fact,
Smith wrote a great missionary hymn, "The Morning
Light Is Breaking," and for more than a decade was
editor of the publications of the Missionary Union. In
collaboration with Dr. Baron Stow, who also held posi-
tions of honor and responsibility in the Union, he com-
piled the Psalmist which was a standard denomina-
tional hymnal in its day. Largely through the in-
flunce of Basil Manly, Jr., himself a hymn writer, the
compiling of hymns was 'started in the South.
The Little Sunday-school Hymn Book and the Con-
federate Sunday-school Hymn Book exhausted two
editions each and totaled about 25,000 copies. From
the Southern Baptist Publication Society the Sacred
Lute hymn book was issued.
It was Secretary Griffith and A. J. Rowland of the
Publication Society with the endorsement of Northern
and Southern Baptists who preserved many of those
and other hymns in the Baptist Hymnal of 1883. Dr.
E. H. Johnson was associate editor while W. H. Doane,
Mus. Doc, was musical editor. Included in the
Hymnal was Benjamin Beddome's, "Did Christ o'er
Sinners Weep ?" with the more spirited songs of newer
writers. There was also the Baptist P. P. Bliss (1838-
1876), best remembered as writer of the words and
music of " 'Tis the Promise of God" and "Almost Per-
suaded," and composer of "It Is Well With My Soul,"
Social Progress 149
and Rev. Robert Lowry (1826-1899), author of "Shall
We Gather at the River?" and composer of abiding
tunes as "I Need Thee Every Hour" and "All the Way
My Saviour Leads Me." Doane himself was a prolific
musical composer if not a writer of words. Watts'
"Alas, and Did My Saviour Bleed," Sankey's, "Tell Me
the Old, Old Story," Prentiss' "More Love to Thee,
Christ," and that Baptist woman, Lydia Baxter's,
"Take the Name of Jesus with You," not to mention
the many songs of Fanny Crosby like "Jesus, Keep
Me Near the Cross," "Pass Me Not, Gentle Saviour,"
and "Rescue the Perishing" — all these live over and
oyer again because Doane set them to music.
'Contribution to Social Progress
Bliss, Lowry, and Doane alone contributed scores
of songs to the evangelistic efforts of Moody and
Sankey. All denominational publishers issue song
books, but the New Baptist Hymnal is still standard.
While some of the theology, ideas, and expressions are
obsolete to many, others look at these and beyond the
literal statement to a deeper meaning that sustains the
spiritual life, the source of all human advance. Thus
is hinted the contribution of the music of the Baptists
to social progress just as the songs of the mediaeval
pilgrims, of Luther, of Cromwell's army, of Wesley-
anism, and the World War served a similar purpose.
Reformation of Manners
With the spread of intelligence came the reforma-
tion of manners. At first the use of strong drink was
150 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
considered all right. In New York City Nicholas
Eyres, a well-to-do and benevolent brewer, opened his
house for preaching services to Rev. Valentine Wight-
man. Eyres was converted and baptized in 1714. The
Gold Street Church was constituted, and Eyres was
ordained pastor in 1724 without relinquishing his
business. Preachers especially on the frontier were
paid in produce which included whiskey, rum, or other
alcoholic beverages. It is true that liquor caused one
of the most frequent instances of the rigid discipline
among Baptists, but it was for its misuse or "drink-
ing too much." Had not Peck gone to the frontier
where men reveled in dumb drunkenness and wanton
wickedness all the time boasting that the Sabbath
would never cross the Mississippi?
Temperance and Prohibition
The temperance movement had, nevertheless, made
some headway by the organization of the American
Society for the Promotion of Temperance in 1826 and
had reached a great height by 1840. Jacob Knapp,
the Baptist evangelist, so impressed six hard drinkers
that they came together, pledged total abstinence and
started what is called the Washingtonian Movement.
Some 600,000 are reported to have enrolled, and,
though 450,000 of this number are said to have re-
lapsed, there were other thousands who were sincere
and changed their manner of life. The churches had
every inspiration to stress moderation in all things and
total abstinence from strong drink. The whole tem-
perance movement was set back by the Civil War and
the Reconstruction, but the prohibition cause after-
Social Progress 151
wards was never so actively fostered by the denomina-
tional schools, women, children, press, and pulpit as
when it was caught up by politics, the Woman's
Christian Temperance Union, the Anti-Saloon League,
and finally by the Federal Constitution in 1919.
Seemingly the social forces of the denomination co-
operating with all agencies of civic righteousness will
continue the crusade for enforcement of temperance
by legislation. The Social Service Commission of the
Southern Convention says in 1932: "The issue has
been boiled down to good citizenship versus bad citi-
zenship, to law versus lawlessness, to prohibition
versus the saloon, and there can be but one answer
for all Christian and moral leaders."
The Social Gospel
The ideals and values of this social progress run im-
mediately back to the revivalism of the eighteenth
century with Edwards, the Wesleys, and Whitfield
who preached a gospel of escape from a cold, dog-
matic, and impractical church. Some people interpreted
their spirit to mean that the church should become
creative of a new world order, and that Christianity
should become dynamic, evangelizing, civilizing, and
Christianizing wherever man was found. Parties of
people grew up who grappled with the problems con-
nected with intemperance, prisons, factories, slaves,
and with whatever else needed loosening from the
shackles that bound it. The fervor of the Christian
socialists was fanned into a mighty conflagration by
this new emphasis on the worth of an individual. It
was not lit yesterday. It was begun by Jesus of Naz-
152 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
Christian Socialists among Baptists
The Baptist Congress of 1882 was organized spe-
cifically "for the discussion of current questions" of the
social order and met yearly for about thirty years.
Four young Baptist ministers, among whom were Wal-
ter Rauschenbush and Leighton Williams, published
For the Right in the vicinity of New York in 1889.
That liberal organ, devoted to Christian socialism, only
lived a little more than a year, but seed had been sown
for the formation in Philadelphia in December, 1892,
of the undenominational Brotherhood of the Kingdom,
for the study and propaganda of the social teachings
and gospel of Jesus. Rev. Mr. Williams became sec-
retary with headquarters in New York.
Dean Shailer Mathews of the Divinity School of the
University of Chicago did much to popularize these
views in 1897 by his book, The Social Teachings of Je-
sus, and again in 1907 by his, The Church and the
Changing Order. The same year the somewhat so-
cialistic indictment of the church in Christianity and
the Social Crisis came from the pen of Walter Rau-
schenbusch at the Rochester Theological Seminary.
This viewpoint among the Baptists was thus cham-
pioned by the Divinity School of Chicago and the
To meet practical situations this emphasis has often
taken the form of an educational campaign, or of tem-
porary relief sometimes with the establishment of a
Social Progress 153
local program to meet some emergency, or of coopera-
tion with existing welfare agencies, or of some or-
ganization for permanent help, but always insisting
that the love of Christ "be accepted as a structural
principle of all legitimate community life, economic,
political, and cultural."
Homes for Aged
Baptist homes for the aged and children, orphanages
and hospitals have been established. Two homes, one
in Brooklyn and another in New York City, began the
movement. In 1930 there were reported 33 Baptist
homes with a property valuation of $5,290,400 and
caring for 2,279 inmates. They included 5 German and
2 Swedish homes and 4 of the South, exclusive of
the few scattered Negro Baptist homes such as the
one in Richmond and in New York.
The German Baptist Orphan's Home of St. Joseph,
Michigan (1871), was the first Baptist orphanage.
There is also one among the New England French-
Americans at Fitchburg, Massachusetts, one for the
Indians at Bacone, Oklahoma, and one in Alaska at
Kodiak. The Northern Baptists have 11 homes in
7 states and Alaska, and the Southern Baptists, 22
homes in 16 states and the District of Columbia, valued
together at $5,978,300 and helping 4,631 children.
There are two homes in the North for Baptist mission-
154 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
The establishment of hospitals in the denomination
is a development of this century because only two, the
Missouri of St. Louis, 1890, and the New England of
Boston, 1893, had their beginnings earlier. This work
has been mostly under state auspices, except in the
South where the Southern Convention built a tuber-
culosis Sanatorium in El Paso, Texas, in 1919, and a
general hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1924.
In 1930 Baptists of the North had 5 hospitals with
property valued at $3,191,600 and treated 14,752 pa-
tients, while Baptists of the South had 26 hospitals
with property valued at $13,653,500 and treated 84,-
The Northern Baptists have developed a half doz-
en or more community centers to care for Negro mi-
grants, of which the Christian Center of Cleveland is
highly typical. The University of Chicago has pro-
vided a settlement in the Stock Yards district. Insti-
tutional churches such as the Temple (Grace) of Phila-
delphia with Temple University as an outgrowth of
the social prophecy of Russell Conwell and the
Immanuel of Chicago are meeting specific needs,
not to mention the growing prevalence of philanthropy
among Baptist persons of wealth. It is a mooted ques-
tion, however, whether religious organizations should
actually prosecute social work where there are other
agencies better prepared and definitely committed to it.
In the field of providing the Christian inspiration for
Social Progress 155
the social tasks the church has been without a formid-
Throughout the entire field, from the most elaborate
organization of Baptist life down to the most humble
church, is social opinion thus given a meaningful ex-
pression whether by resolution or statement. Social
problems have become intensified since the War, and
the Social Service Committee of the Northern Baptists
says that this industrial crisis (1929-33) "is a symp-
tom of a diseased civilization" and asks "What hope
can there be in any system that is not based on the
simple and sufficient morality of Jesus?" It points
out a remedy which "lies in the awakening of an in-
telligent faith in the power of Christianity to per-
meate society with a better spirit. Social redemption
means for communities, corporations, labor organiza-
tions, political parties, governments, and the world's
whole civilization a moral readjustment analogous to
individual repentance and conversion." The message
comes from the Riverside Church, New York : "Christ
or Pilate — that is the question. There they stand
together in the judgment hall. One of them cares.
But the other is washing his hands." It is impossible
to measure the social urge of the pulpit with its thou-
sands of minor prophets also who have placed their pul-
pits on the hillsides, and who do cry night and day:
"Shame, shame, shame, for inasmuch as you min-
istered not to the least of my little ones you ministered
not to me."
In France — Beginnings
The development of Baptists in Europe is not a con-
tinuance of Mennonite influence as it was in England
but is a result of comparatively recent missionary ac-
tivity. In 1832 a mission was established in France
by the Triennial Convention under the direction of Pro-
fessor Ira Chase of the Newton Theological Institu-
tion. There were a few scattered Christians in Paris
who unknowingly held to Baptist views before the com-
ing of Professor Chase and J. C. Rostan, a French-
man from America, who built a Baptist chapel in Paris.
Rostan was succeeded after his death within two years
by Isaac Willmarth of Newton. By 1835 a church
had been organized of six members which had a na-
tive pastor, Joseph Thieffy, the next year. Within
two years there were seven churches, largely called
forth by the missionary zeal of the pastor at Paris.
Religious proscriptions together with changing po-
litical situations scattered all of these churches. The
church at Paris was reorganized with 4 members in
European Baptists 157
1850 by T. T. Devan who subsequently began a church
in Lyons in 1852. Through the evangelistic efforts of
Reuben Saillens and others another church was be-
gun in Paris, and labors prospered elsewhere in France.
Since 1856 the French Baptists have carried on their
own work with their own workers except in establish-
ing their theological school in Paris in 1879. The
British Baptist Year Book for 1930 reports that the
French Baptists have 32 churches, 33 pastors, and
1,939 members, a number less than they had two dec-
Baptist growth in Germany is singular because it
was a movement originated by the Germans, because
it was marked by uncommon determination to succeed
in spite of bitter persecution, and because it was the
medium through which most of Europe and some of
the rest of the world was recruited for the Baptist
Johann Gerard Oncken
Johann Gerard Oncken (1800-1884) was the leader.
He was born at Varel in Oldenburg and taken to Great
Britain by a Scottish merchant in his fourteenth year.
Becoming a Congregationalist, he returned to Ger-
many in 1823 as a missionary of the newly formed
Continental Society for which he labored five years.
Subsequently, he and a few others became convinced of
believers' baptism from a study of the Scriptures.
158 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
The Hamburg Church
The Triennial Convention commissioned Professor
Barnas Sears, who went to Germany in 1833 for theo-
logical study, to communicate to the Board the state
of religion in central Europe, especially Germany. At
Hamburg he became acquainted with Oncken who had
opened a book store as agent of the Edinburgh Bible
Society and the Lower Saxony Tract Society. At
midnight, April 12, 1834, Mr. Oncken and wife with
five others at their own request were baptized in the
Elbe. The next day they were constituted a church,
and Mr. Oncken was ordained pastor, and in September
appointed a missionary of the Triennial Convention
with C. F. Lange. The pastor said in 1836: "There is
not a member in our church but what is, in one way
or another, doing something in promoting the extension
of Christ's kingdom." The church at once became a
beehive of activity with its Sunday services, prayer
meetings, Bible class, monthly concert, and Temper-
Success of the Baptists
It became a matter of general knowledge that the
Baptists under Oncken were enjoying a degree of
popularity. The meeting place by 1837 was no longer
a private dwelling but a spacious hall capable of ac-
commodating 300 people. Among the converts and
helpers was Julius Koebner, a Jewish engraver, later
to exert a helpful influence as preacher and hymn
writer for Baptists churches in Germany and Den-
mark. A church was constituted at Berlin in 1837
European Baptists 159
with Gottfried Wilhelm Lehmann and five others as
members. Oncken, Koebner, and Lehman became
popularly known to German Baptists as "the clover
The success of the Baptists with their emphasis on
the observance of the Lord's Day stirred up the com-
mon people, the Lutherans, and the Senate. "I have
stood and preached the gospel," said Oncken, "till
every pane of glass in the windows was broken by
the stones thrown by the mob; and at the risk of my
life proclaimed the wonders of redeeming grace and
love." Mr. Oncken was often put in jail, once for
four weeks in 1840, but what was imprisonment com-
pared with a vision realized — four churches, Ham-
burg (1834), Stuttgart (1834), Berlin (1837), and
Oldenburg (1837), established; 114 persons converted;
5000 copies of the memoir of Mrs. Judson distributed,
and 263,000 tracts scattered broadcast?
The genesis of all subsequent German development
occurred during the lifetime of Oncken. Beginning in
1838, tracts were published, so that it became nec-
essary to incorporate the private enterprise of Oncken
into a society to take care of the publication work.
Headquarters remained at Hamburg until the spring
of 1899 when they were moved to their own building
in Cassel. Five denominational papers are published
in addition to tracts and books. The Hamburg Bib-
160 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
lical School took shape to prepare indigenous workers
in 1848, but up to 1880, when the present seminary at
Hamburg was opened, theological instruction was of
the most elementary character and was given for only
a few months each year. Now the seminary has a
suitable building at Horn and a four years' course of
The churches of Germany came together in 1849 and
formed a general Triennial Conference, known as the
German Baptist Union since 1855. Out of the 70
churches gathered by 1856 only 8 had regular chapels,
but within a century the gospel has gone clear across
Germany in commodious and well-arranged buildings,
increasing the membership from 7 to 60,939 with
30,212 Sunday school scholars, 294 pastors and mis-
sionaries, 260 churches, and, according to a recent
Jahrbuch of J. G. Lehmann, 12 associations.
During the World War
Only during the World War did the German Bap-
tists have any dark days comparable to their days of
persecution. After the Foreign Mission Society heard
of their deplorable condition through its delegated
Commission in 1920, it sent Rev. Prof. Jacob Hen-
richs to bear the greetings of the Baptists in America
to the Baptists of France and Germany. An extract
from his manuscript report shows how the historic
struggle for Alsace-Lorraine affected the denomina-
Our Baptist churches in these two provinces have lost more
than half of their constituents
European Baptists 161
Strassburg, though not the oldest, was our most numerous
church before and during the War. In Mr. P. Schild it has
lost its capable pastor, and in Mr. S. Mascher, who was its
"elder" for about thirty years, it had to surrender a very
able and beloved teacher. Its present membership is only 47.
The loss of so many (49) members naturally disheartened
the church and resulted in the remaining ones looking
gloomily to the future. The Sunday school ceased to exist.
The choir hung its harp on the willows. The members be-
gan to scatter. Limited financial resources forced the church
to hire a smaller meeting place and to seek reunion with
its mother church at Mulhausen. With this church it bade
farewell to the German-Rheinish and joined the Franco-
Swiss Association of Baptist churches. At this critical time
came the call for a German-American minister, to heal the
breach if possible. . . It was quite evident that neither a Ger-
man pastor nor a Frenchman, if such were available, would
meet the situation, and no Alsatian could be had.
Spread of German Baptists
The large number of German Baptist churches is
all the more remarkable because they have survived
such hazardous experiences, and they are noteworthy
because they have projected themselves into Denmark
(1838), Norway (1840), Austria (1846), Sweden
(1848), Lithuania (1854), Roumania (1856), and
Russia (1861). German Baptists have missionaries
in South Africa, China, India, and America.
In Denmark and Norway
The Baptists movement was introduced among the
Scandinavian people from Germany. While visiting
Copenhagen in 1838, Julius Koebner reviewed the sub-
ject of believers' baptism with some Lutherans who
were not in accord with the state church. Convinced
of the Scriptural warrant for the ordinance, eleven
of them were baptized by Koebner and Oncken, and
162 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
a church was organized in 1839. A pastor was or-
dained in July of the next year. Churches at Lange-
land and Aalberg followed as well as sundry persecu-
tions; so both English and American Baptists sent
delegations to seek to mitigate governmental restric-
tions. Some of the Danish Baptists emigrated to
America because of the persecutions, but others re-
mained to establish the work firmly during the period
when toleration began after 1850. The Danish
churches, which had been in the German Union from
the beginning of the organization withdrew to form
their own national body in 1887. Many of their trained
ministers had come from America, but in 1895 they
founded a theological school of their own. They
have a publication work and are not behind other Dan-
ish Christians in missionary zeal although they num-
ber only 31 churches, 30 pastors, 5, 647 members, and
6,820 Sunday school pupils.
Two years after German Baptists started mission-
ary work in Norway in 1840, a church was organized.
Climatic conditions seem no barrier to immersion, for
strong churches exist in the northerly Tromsoe and at
Christiania and Frederickshold. In the whole coun-
try in 1930, 48 churches, 39 ministers, 5,151 members,
and 4,336 Sunday school scholars had been gathered
through the influence of German and Swedish Bap-
In Sweden — Beginnings
The largest number of Scandinavian Baptists is in
Sweden where there were 681 churches, 712 ministers,
63,310 members, and 62,364 Sunday school scholars in
European Baptists 163
1930. The story of the beginnings revolves around
two Swedish sailors, the one, Gustaf W. Schroeder,
who was converted in New Orleans by the Methodists,
but who became a Baptist in 1844, and who met the
other, Frederick 0. Nilsson, who had been converted
in New York some ten years before. Nilsson was led
to Baptist views by Schroeder and baptized in August,
1847, by Oncken. A Baptist minister from Denmark
baptized five persons at Gothenburg in 1848 who with
Nilsson were constituted a church in September. From
the first and for three years the church and missionary
labors of Pastor Nilsson were at once so successful
and attractive that Nilsson was banished. Sojourning
a short time at Copenhagen, he finally reached Min-
nesota with a colony of immigrants.
From then on Andreas Wiberg, an educated former
Lutheran minister, became the Swedish representative
to continue the work. Having accepted Baptist views
from Oncken and stopping at Copenhagen as he was
en route to America, Wiberg was baptized by Nilsson
in 1852. American interest in Sweden culminated in
commissioning Wiberg a colporter of the Publication
Society in 1855. He returned home the same year and
labored so effectively as editor of a denominational pa-
per and as missionary that when the Swedish work was
transferred to the Missionary Union in 1866 there
were 176 churches and 6,606 members who had their
Conference of Swedish Baptist churches (1857) to
promote their activities. Moreover, the Swedish
Baptists were the first denomination to estab-
164 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
lish Sunday schools and Christian Endeavor societies
in their country.
In the meantime, Captain Schroeder returned to
Sweden in 1861 and gave to the church at Gothenburg
a lot with a house of worship which he had had built
for them. By royal permission Nilsson returned and
became pastor, and the church enjoyed peace after
some disturbance following the first service which
was inspired by the State Church. Conditions were
not so favorable for the Baptists in other parts of the
kingdom. As a result of rigorous, though unlawful
persecutions, many of the Swedish Baptists emi-
grated. For example, in 1870 Captain Schroeder sent
a colony to America who named their stopping place
in Aroostook County, Maine, New Sweden, and there
they planted a Baptist church.
The success of the Swedish Baptists was due to the
facts that they, like their German brethren, had
strong leaders and an uncommon missionary zeal.
Since 1866 the Bethel Theological Seminary at
Stockholm has been preparing their ministry who
through the Stockholm Missionary Society (1856) have
been rendering zealous service at home and abroad,
in Norway (1867), in Finland (1868), and in neigh-
Baptist progress has not been as successful among
the Slavic nations and among most of the other peo-
European Baptists 165
pies bordering on the Baltic Sea. Contact, however,
with the Slavs was first made by the German Baptists
at Memel in 1854 on the occasion of the burning of the
Lithuanian church building there. Preaching efforts
resulted in the Lithuanian mission work and also the
more successful Lettish work. By the baptism of
Jacobsohn, a Lett, in 1855, missionary interest was
aroused which resulted in the organization of a church
at Windau in 1860. Work in Latvia has greatly pros-
pered, so that there were 114 churches, 134 ministers,
and 10,125 members in 1930. About 1886 evan-
gelistic efforts were begun among the Esths, an
Asiatic people, by A. R. Schieve, a German pastor in
St. Petersburg, and not much earlier, among the Poles
who have proven quite as susceptible to Baptist be-
liefs as the Letts. There are 314 churches, 426 min-
isters, and 32,724 Baptists in Finland, Esthonia,
Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland, nations that have
arisen from the ruins of Imperial Russia.
Baptist beginnings in Russia are bound up with the
missionary labors of German Baptists. The effect of
a division in the Mennonite church of south Russia,
composed largely of German immigrants, produced the
Mennonite Brethren in 1860 who were less formal and
insistent on their baptism and the Lord's Supper.
They did not become a part of the German Baptist
movement although Oncken ordained Abraham Ungar,
their leader, in 1869. After that the Baptists in south
Russia owed their origin to those Brethren. That
was one company, and the other centered around Tif lis
166 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
to which Kalweit, a German Baptist preacher, went in
1862. Five years elapsed before he had a convert,
but Mikita Woronin, a merchant, proved a spiritual as-
set. Almost immediately he felt called to preach,
baptizing six of his countrymen on April 18, 1869, and
forming them into a church at Tiflis. By much
evangelical labor within ten years (1879) the Baptists
were so favorably brought to the attention of the gov-
ernment that they were recognized along with other
Protestant denominations in Russia. Although the
statistics for 1930 reporting 3,129 churches, 830 min-
isters, and 1,000,000 Baptists are questioned in the
light of recent religious proscriptions in Soviet Rus-
sia, it is not surprising that Baptist polity is adapted
to the religious organization of the masses.
Other European Nations
Other peoples among whom are found appreciable
numbers of Baptists are the Dutch (1845), Hungarians
(1846), Bulgarians (1878), and Bohemians (1880),
all of whom received their initial urge from the Ger-
man Baptists. There are small churches in Belgium,
Portugal, and Switzerland. The breakup of Austria-
Hungary into minority nations after the War has
opened still other fields of usefulness for the denomina-
In 1836 the Triennial Convention began a mission in
Greece with two American missionaries and their
wives. Probably the greatest services at this station
European Baptists 167
were the Greek translation of Wayland's, Elements of
Moral Science and of Bunyan's, Pilgrim's Progress,
and the use of three or four native assistants of whom
Demetrius Sakellarios became the best known. The
mission stayed closed for fifteen years after 1856 but
was resumed to be finally discontinued in 1886.
European Policy of Northern Baptists
Probably because Europe already has the gospel,
no American missionaries are now sent there by
Northern Baptists, but according to agreements with
the Baptist General Conference, which met in London
in July of 1920, the Foreign Mission Society cooperates
with the autonomous Baptist organizations in Czech-
oslovakia, Denmark, Esthonia, France, Germany, Lat-
via, Lithuana, Norway, Poland, Russia, and Sweden,,
mainly by aiding in ministerial education and support,
through a special representative in Paris.
European Policy of Southern Baptists
The Southern Baptists with a large Roumanian Mis-
sion (1921) continue to send American missionaries
to Europe and supply the supervision for the Spanish,
Jugoslavian, and Hungarian stations. The Rou-
mainian mission reports (1932) 275 churches, 152
ministers, and 36,928 members. The Spanish Mission
(1921) with its national convention of Baptists in-
cludes 34 churches, 30 ministers, and 1,122 members.
Within ten years the Baptists have become known in
Jugoslavia, largely through a native ministry which
established 15 churches with nearly 1,500 members. A
168 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
similar arrangement is followed in one other European
country, Hungary, but in connection with the Hun-
garian Baptist Union of America, where 69 churches,
83 ministers, and 12,087 members are reported. The
Seminary at Budapest has a native teacher who is a
graduate of the Southern Baptist Theological Semi-
Italy presented a heroic challenge to Baptists in
1870 when the Southern Convention began operations
there with the appointment of a missionary. For the
lack of leadership the work did not prosper until Dr.
G. B. Taylor left Staunton, Virginia, and went to Italy
in 1872. Simultaneously, W. C. Van Meter was in Italy
from 1872 to 1877 under appointment of the Publi-
cation Society. The mission has been prosperous
throughout the Peninsula. Superintendent D. G. Whit-
tinghill writes from Rome:
"Thirty years ago, when I came to this country as a mis-
sionary, we had 24 churches, 104 baptisms, 615 church mem-
bers, and only 4 church buildings. Collections amounted to
only $900.00. In 1931 we had 52 churches, 371 baptisms,
3,248 members, and collections amounted to nearly $9,000.00.
"We now have 23 houses of worship with two buildings in
course of construction, a Theological School, a Publishing
House, an Orphanage, a Young People's Movement, and a
Woman's Missionary Society in the act of being organized.
In addition the Baptist name Is well known and respected
by other evangelical denominations, not to mention many
of the outside world."
BAPTISTS OF TODAY
Baptist World Alliance
"Whereas, in the providence of God, the time has
come when it seems fitting more fully to manifest the
essential oneness in the Lord Jesus Christ, as their
God and Saviour, of the churches of the Baptist order
and faith throughout the world, and to promote the
spirit of fellowship, service, and cooperation among
them, while recognizing the independence of each
particular church and not assuming the functions of
any existing organization, it is agreed to form a Bap-
tist Alliance, extending over every part of the world,"
is the preamble to the constitution of the Baptist
World Alliance, formed in London, 1905, with the ven-
erable John Clifford, M. A., LL. D., D. D., president. .
Its Organization and Work
The constitution was amended (in italics) at the
Philadelphia meeting in 1911 to provide for member-
ship consisting of any General Union, Convention, or
Association of Baptist churches, or conference of native
churches and missionaries or general Foreign Mis-
sionary Society. Besides the President, the Deputy
170 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
President, the two treasurers, one for Europe and one
for America, and similar secretaries, the executive com-
mittee of 22 was composed of 5 from Great Britain, 7
from the United States, 2 from Canada and 8 from the
rest of the world. The Alliance meets once in five
years. After the Russian government thwarted their
plan to establish a ministerial training school there,
little material advance has been made by the Alliance,
but its contribution of new spirit to all the Baptists in
the world cannot be measured.
Baptists in the World
According to the statistics of the Southern Conven-
tion for 1931 Baptists had 1,655,152 members in
Europe (including 1,000,000 in Russia), 396,466 in
Asia, 94,954 in Africa, 9,475,178 in North America,
64,436 in Central America and the West Indies, 43,-
602 in South America, and 37,378 in Australia and
New Zealand, a total of 11,767,166 communicants in
Call for Leaders
There are about 71,000 Baptist churches in the
world. According to the British Baptist Year Book for
1930 there are 12,236 more churches than there are
ministers. It is evident that there is a place of use-
fulness for ministers especially of a superior type al-
though in actual life situations some facts are: (1)
that many of the churches enumerated have an itin-
erating ministry but are unable to support a settled
pastor; (2) that it is difficult to get located in the Bap-
Baptists of Today 171
tist ministry; (3) that challenging appeals of an eco-
nomic and social nature are extended to prospective
preachers from allied fields; and (4) that probably
there are more preachers of a kind than there are
churches. Yet side by side with all of that, Baptists
are not only increasing numerically but have earned
social standing, political power, material resources,
and intellectual position. Almost everywhere they
are considered good citizens and are generally pro-
tected except in a few places such as in Russia and in
Jugoslavia, where in 1931 the general missionary was
fined about ten dollars for baptizing a man who was
also fined two dollars for allowing the ordinance. The
case has been appealed.
Except in the United States where Baptists are the
second largest Protestant denomination, enrolling
about eighteen per cent, of the religious population, a
very negligible percentage of the world's religious
population of over five hundred and fifty millions is
included in the denomination. Fellowship with other
groups has therefore seemed desirable as a policy to
be pursued even in North America. American Bap-
tists were preparing themselves for larger fellowship
through the organization of the General Convention of
the Baptists of North America in 1905. After some
years the General Convention came to its end because
other similar organizations multiplied, and, as New-
man says, because Southern Baptists anticipated a
problem with the Negro constituency accorded "equal-
ity of representation and privilege" in meetings held
172 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
in the South. Baptists of the South have never joined
the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in
America. The undenominational Religious Education
Association and the International Council of Religious
Education from their beginnings have appealed to
many Baptists, but the Inter-Church Word Movement
of North American appealed only to Northern and Ne-
Baptists and Non-Denominationalism
Nevertheless, individual Baptists working in non-
Christian lands have gone so far as to ignore denomi-
national lines altogether. A large number of Baptist
missionaries are employed by the non-Baptist China
Inland Mission, the Inland South American Missionary
Union, the Africa Inland Mission, the American Board,
and the Sudan Interior Mission. Some other missionary
societies employ a few Baptists. Not only on the mis-
sion field has denominationalism been perplexing but
in rural and frontier districts. There union churches
are found, and also sometimes in the cities. While the
church prospers that unified the Hyde Park Baptist
and the Hyde Park Congregational of Chicago, few
churches have dared so far to drop the denominational
standard ^altogether and become spokesman for a
united Protestantism as has the Riverside Church,
formerly the Park Avenue Baptist Church of New
York, which, however, continues to cooperate with
Baptist organizations. The spirit of church unity is
not prevalent because of Baptists' awareness of their
contributions to religious thinking. To them their
tenets must not be thrown into a melting pot; they
Baptists of Today 173
have been tried by fire and have come out a succes-
sion of pure spiritual principles from the time of the
Baptists are definite in their beliefs about a church,
its membership, its officers, its ordinances, and the
Scriptures. Many evangelical Christians have accepted
the Baptist position that a church is a spiritual entity
though having a visible local organization, autono-
mous and independent in all affairs. It follows that
there is no higher group, ecclesiastical or civil, to
which it is subject. So the church is separated from
the state, although it honors its leaders and obeys its
laws. Baptists believe that there should be such re-
ligious freedom and liberty vouchsafed to each individ-
ual by the State that anyone may for himself determine
how he will worship God. Only those persons should
be fellowshipped into a local church who have expe-
rienced regeneration and have been baptized on a pro-
fession of their faith. That excludes infants and
stresses the equality of believers. The officers of a
church are the pastor and the deacons. The two or-
dinances given to the church were baptism and the
Lord's Supper. Baptize both from its Greek meaning
and symbolism of burying and rising has been settled
to mean dip, plunge, immerse. Similarly the symbol-
ism of the Lord's Supper expresses union with Christ.
As baptism precedes church membership, the Lord's
Supper follows as an "outward and visible sign of an
inward and spiritual grace."
174 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
Authority of the Scriptures
Baptists accept the authority of the Scriptures now
as in the days of Roger Williams. When the Rhode
Island colony was organized, these words were writ-
ten (March 7, 1638) : "We whose names are under-
written do here solemnly, in the presence of Jeho-
vah, incorporate ourselves into a body politic, and, as
he shall help, will submit our persons, lives, and es-
tates unto our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of kings
and Lord of lords, and to all those perfect and most
absolute laws of his, given in his holy word of truth,
to be guided and judged thereby."
Those beliefs are expressed in two important con-
fessions. The Confession of Faith "of baptized con-
gregations," meeting in London, 1689, was adopted by
the Philadelphia Association in 1742 as the Philadel-
phia Confession. It is Calvinistic and has lost some of
its influence in the North but at the South is generally
accepted. The New Hampshire Confession of that state
convention in 1832 modifies the strong Calvinism of
the earlier Confession and is widely used in the North.
Baptists have made their contribution to religious
thought in their spiritual interpretation of the church
and its ordinances, in the tenet of liberty of conscience,
and in the democratic form of our government,
as Dr. E. Y. Mullins, late president of the Southern
Baptist Theological Seminary and of the Baptist
World Alliance, states in his address on The Contri-
bution of the Baptists to American Civilization, re-
printed by the Publication Society. "Look into a New
Testament Church and then at the American Govern-
ment," he says, "and insight discovers that the latter
is the projection of the shadow of the former."
Baptists of Today 175
Baptists in Operation
A glance at the Baptists in operation, however, will
reveal that the practical application of their beliefs al-
lows great latitude. The very liberty which they have
won for others has been appropriated to themselves,
so that irregularities would be expected everywhere,
but they are not numerous. David George makes an
explanation for an unbaptized member of the church
in Shelburne, Canada: "She. . . joined us without bap-
tism, to which she would have submitted, had not her
family cruelly hindered her; but she was the only one
in our society who was not baptized." 1 The Baptists
of Virginia soon rid themselves of their "apostle," an
ordained minister whom they ordained again with all
of the duties of an Episcopal Bishop. 2 Only one gen-
eration has passed since communion was served at as-
sociations, since associations and conventions ordained
ministers as practiced by the Nova Scotia and New
Brunswick Association of Canada, and since feet-
washing was in some places considered an ordinance
to be perpetuated by the churches. In different lands
and different sections of our own country certain va-
riations of belief and practice are found. In Germany
there is a general practice of having both ministers
and elders and of celebrating the "love feast" ; in Eng-
land Baptist churches adopt open communion and
often open membership ; and in the Northern States of
our country, as has been seen, there is a tendency to-
ward open communion, while in the South the great
1. See, Rippon, Register, i, 474-481.
2. Semple, 57-59.
176 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
practice is still that of close communion. While a
cross section of the denomination will show various
shades of doctrinal interpretation, and while Baptists
are finding in the experiences of mankind, reduced to
writing and unrecorded, authoritative revelations of
God, there is no Baptist true to the deepest principles
of his denomination, who does not allow to every other
Baptist liberty of opinion and recognize the right of
every one to worship God according to the dictates of
his own conscience.
In the process of development changes are still com-
ing with the years. The day of the long pastorate is
about over. Few men have decided to give their whole
lives to a single pastorate as E. C. Morris at Centen-
nial Church, Helena, Arkansas, or Robert Stuart
MacArthur at Calvary Church, New York City. They
merited their respective honors as the President of the
National Baptist Convention and as the President of
the Baptist World Alliance. Few men continue a pas-
torate for forty years like Hugh Stowell Brown at
Myrtle Street Church, Liverpool, or for more than
a half century like John W. M. Williams at the First
Church, Baltimore, or for sixty years like Theodore
Seth Harding at Wolfville Church, Nova Scotia. Few
men are enjoying fifty years of service as Walter H.
Brooks at Nineteenth Street Church, Washington, D.
C, and E. R. Carter at Friendship Church, Atlanta,
Georgia, are doing.
Baptists of Today 177
Restlessness Among Churches
Congregations and ministers are becoming restless,
and both desire a change. Yet the opportunity is not
denied ministers to spend a long life of useful service,
like J. A. W. Thomas who spent his life in the rural
districts of his native county, Marlborough, South
Carolina, or like John Leland who was a pastor over
sixty years, or like Father Patterson of Tennessee who
is reported to have preached eighty years.
The preaching, too, has changed emphasis both in
subject matter and in delivery. It is in many cases no
longer primarily an exposition of simple faith nor a
negative denunciation of things as secret societies, but
it is an expression of truths that have to do with
righteous living. Usually the English is non-theologi-
cal with more spiritual connotation given to such con-
cepts as sin, hell, and heaven. The ministry has pre-
served something of the emotional appeal of the ser-
mon but is losing that vividness of imagination and
utter abandon coupled with sincerity and piety so
characteristic of preachers of the Great Awakening
and of John Jasper who believed in the revolution of
the sun around the earth. Rhetorical pulpit oratory
passed with J. L. M. Curry of Alabama, Russell Con-
well of Pennsylvania, and Charles T. Walker of Geor-
gia. Now preaching is rather a magnified talk. Ser-
mons are shortened by half in time and range, from
a quarter of an hour upwards. Any city, though, will
reveal many types of Baptist preachers from the mys-
tical exhorter to the calm minister.
178 Short History of the Baptist Denomination
In the public services of the churches the element
of worship takes many different forms and receives
very different emphasis. The worship places, the
churches, are being- built not only to provide an audi-
ence room but to inspire devotees of the presence of
God. There are church architects connected with both
the Northern and Southern conventions who submit
building plans of community usefulness and of
spiritual inspiration because of the design, materials,
proportion, color, windows, etc., recommended. It is
startling to enter some churches most recently built
and see the pulpit that used to be the center of interest
moved to one side as in the European cathedrals. It
looks as if the communion table has almost become an
altar. So the function of the clergy appears to be as-
suming a priestly character. Baptistries are becoming
architecturally conspicuous, removed from their hidden
places under the rostrum.
The services of the urban churches generally con-
sist of morning and evening worship, and the Sunday
school and Baptist Young People's Union on Sunday,
prayer meeting on some night of the week, and dur-
ing the year one or more revivals and financial rallies.
In the public services the tendency is to employ liturgy
with chants, responsive prayers, antiphonal reading
of Biblical selections, congregational singing with mu-
sical instrument, sometimes with paid singers and vest-
ed choir. Persons now living remember when preach-
Baptists of Today 179
ing services were held at least three times a day on
Sunday and once or twice during the week. Now in
many places people come to worship at one service only
on Sunday, and at other times when something special
is taking place. The attendance at separate commun-
ion services has decreased greatly, so that some
churches have combined that service with a regular
confessional or preaching service from which many
members absent themselves.
Discipline has become a thing of the past in very
many church circles. Some think that religion has
become worldly; others feel that the world has be-
come religious. Baptists know that by a ministry of
religious education religious principles are permeating
society every day in the week. Protracted revivalism
is giving way to the newer religious education and
visitation evangelism. Churches with one auditorium
for preaching and prayer meetings are enlarged, or
new buildings are erected with special rooms for
Christian education classes, clubs, and social gather-
The development of centralized control in the de-
nomination is viewed askance by those who are fear-
ful that the local churches are losing their authority.
Yet this changing denomination was never more gen-
erally the rendezvous of the common people eager to
hear the good news, was never so intelligent and
prosperous, so clear as to the content of its message,
so strategically located in the world, so alert to the
redemptive work of individuals and of society, and so
outstanding in its leadership of the people. It has
within its hand a key to the kingdom of heaven.
Carlile, John C. The Story of the English Baptists. London,
Not too detailed an account of English Baptists.
Christian, John F. History of the Baptists. Two Volumes.
Here materials culled from authorities of Church
History speak for the Baptists till 1845.
Jordan, Lewis G. Negro Baptist History U. S. A. 1750-1930.
Valuable for some documents of the convention
movement among Negro Baptists and for reflections
during the lifetime of the author.
Newman, Albert Henry (editor) A Century of Baptist
Achievement. Philadelphia, 1901.
A readable volume of authoritative writings on
many phases of Baptist development.
A History of the Baptist Churches in the United
States. Philadelphia, 1915
A review by states of outstanding American Bap-
tist churches, men, and movements.
Sweet, William Warren. Religion on the American Frontier
The Baptists 1783-1830. A collection of source ma-
terial. New York, 1931.
Important for point of view, materials, and Bibli-
Vedder, Henry C. A Short History of the Baptists, New and
Illustrated Edition. Philadelphia, 1907.
A widely used account of the Baptists, especially
English and American, from the point of view of
Abolitionism, 50, 59, 61, 62,
Act of Toleration, 15.
Africa, 19, 35, 36, 54f., 61, 70,
71, 72, 73, 88f., 104, 112, 118,
146, 161, 169.
Alabama, 68, 97, 102, 110,
American Baptist Associa-
American Baptist (Mission-
ary Union) Foreign Mis-
sion Society, 54, 69, 70-73,
74, 80, 88, 147, 163, 167. See
also, Triennial Convention
American Baptist Free Mis-
sion Society, 67, 69, 73f.,
105, 108, 109.
American Baptist Historical
Society, The, 81.
American Baptist Home Mis-
sion Society, The, 48ff., 64,
69, 71, 74-81, 94f., 118.
American Baptist Publica-
tion Society, The, 54, 74f.,
82, 84, 98, 148, 163, 168.
American Board of Commis-
sioners for Foreign Mis-
sions, 52, 172.
American Colonization So-
ciety, 55, 61f.
American National Baptist
Convention, 113f., 117.
Anabaptists, 3-9, 12.
Anderson, Duke William, 111.
Anderson, Martin B., 141.
Andreas of Holland, 22.
Anti-Missionism, 50f., 134-136.
Anti-Slavery Baptists, 44, 56f.,
58, 66. See also Friends
Arkansas, 96, 108, 112.
Arminianism, 12, 27, 30, 131.
Arnold of Brescia, 3.
Asplund, John, 37, 57.
Australasia, 22, 170.
Austria, 6, 7, 161.
Backus Historical Society, 81.
Backus, Isaac, 31, 57.
Bagley, David, 44.
Bahama Islands, 37.
Baldwin, Thomas, 52, 53, 147.
Baptism, 1, 5, 11, 26, 27. See
Baptist (General Association)
African Convention of the
Western States and Terri-
tories, 110, 116f.
Baptist Congress, 152.
Baptist Foreign Mission Con-
vention, 71, 112f., 114, 116f.
Baptist Statistics, 170.
Baptist Union, 21, 65.
Baptist World Alliance, 169f.,
Baptist Young People's Un-
ion, 83, 120.
Barrow, David, 33, 57, 58, 59,
Beliefs, 1, 4, 20, 50, 128f.,
173. See Confessions of
Bell, T. P., 99.
Bible Societies, 21f., 53f.
Bishop, Jacob, 35.
Blake, Joseph, 30.
Blaurock, George, 5.
Boardman, George Dana, 54.
Bohemia, 3, 166.
Boulden, Jesse Freeman, 108.
Boyce, James P., lOOf.
Boyd, R. H., 119, 120.
Brawley, E. M., 115.
Brazil, 73, 89f.
Brethren, various sects of, 3,
Bright, Edward, 70.
Brine, John, 15.
Broadus, John A., 101.
Brown, Chad, 26.
Brown, Nathan, 72.
Brown University, 32, 51, 139,
Broyles, Moses, 44.
Bryan, Andrew, 38, 57.
Bunyan, John, 14, 21.
California, 78, 110.
Calvanism, 12, 15, 17, 27, 28,
Camp Meetings, 43.
Campbell, Alexander, 50f.,
Canada, 22ff., 35, 3(5, 78, 103,
110, 169, 175.
Carey, William, 18f., 46.
Carmen, Joshua, 58.
Carter, Bobert, 57.
Carv, Lott, 54f., 62.
Charles II, 14.
Chase, Ira, 156.
Chelcicky, Peter, 3.
Children, 79, 97, 102, 112, 117,
China, 19, 54, 70, 87f., 161.
Chisman, Thomas, 57.
Christian, W., 103.
Christianity, 1, 2, 58, 92f.
Christians, Denomination of,
Church Edifice Gift Fund, 78.
Church Edifice Loan Fund,
Church Membership, 21, 34,
Church of God (Reformation
Church of God (Winebren-
Church Union, 172.
Churches of God (General
Assembly), The, 127f.
City Mission Societies, 81.
Civil War, 60, 74, 78, 88, 93,
96, 101, 105f, 150.
Clark, John, 61.
Clarke, John, 26f.
Clarke, William Newton, 137.
Clifford, John, 19, 169.
Clough, J. E., 72.
Colleges, 24, 27, 44, 49, 72, 73,
76, 77, 80, 81, 86, 97, 103,
116, 118, 139f., 142f.
Colley, W. W., 89, 112.
Colver, Nathaniel, 67.
Confessions of Faith, 6, 12, 13,
14, 29, 174. See Beliefs.
Congregationalists, 6, 12, 31,
32, 46, 52, 128, 131, 157.
Connecticut, 28, 31, 43, 46.
Consolidated American Bap-
tist Missionary Convention,
Conwell, Russell, 154, 177.
Corey, Charles H., 77.
Cox, F. A., 65.
Craig, Lewis, 40f.
Crane, William, 104.
Craven, Thomas, 44.
Cromwell, Oliver, 13, 149.
Cuba, 81, 97f.
Currv, J. L. M., 177.
Customs, 15, R)7, 175.
Dakotas, The, 78.
David, W. J., 89.
Davis, Noah, 104.
Davis, Noah K., 82.
De Baptist, Richard, 109, HOf.
Deacons, 1, 173.
Denck, Hans, 4.
Denmark, 161f., 167.
Dexter, Gregory, 26.
Diaz, A. J., 97f.
Dill, John, 15.
Disciples, Denomination of,
Discipline, 34, 150, 179.
District of Columbia, 113, 116,
Dixon, W. T., 109, 111.
Doane, W. H., 148.
Dodge, Josiah, 58.
Dorris, Joseph, 42.
Dow, Lorenzo, quoted, 31.
Duck River and Kindred
Dungan, Thomas, 29.
Dunkards, The, 124f., 130.
Dunster, Henry, 27.
Eaton, Isaac, 32.
Education, 49, 50, 84f., 99,
100, 104, 109, 132, 140, 167,
169. See also Schools,
Colleges, Seminaries, and
Edwards, Jonathan, 30.
Edwards, Morgan, 32.
El Salvador, 81.
English Baptist Missionary
Society, 17ff., 36f., 46, 51.
Episcopalians, 13, 32, 85.
Esthonia, 165, 167.
Evangelism, 73, 80, 87, 88,
Evangelization of Negroes,
Evervin of Steinfield, 3.
Eyres, Nicholas, 150.
Federal Constitution, 33, 143,
Federal Council of the
Churches of Christ in
America, 85, 130, 172.
Feller, Madame, 23.
Finland, 164, 165.
First Baptist Church in
First Baptist Church in Eng-
First Negro Baptist Churches,
Fisher, Ezra, 78.
Florida, 96, 97, 98, 112.
France, 3, 156f., 167.
Free Will Baptists, 65, 74, 76,
Friends to Humanity, 59ff.
Frierichs, Sicke, 9.
Frost, J. M., 99.
Fuller, Andrew, 17, 18.
Fuller, Richard, 68, 91.
Furman, Richard, Sr., 33, 53.
Galusha, Elon, 66.
Garrison, William Lloyd, 62,
General Baptists, 12, 14, 15,
17, 21, 26, 133.
General Convention of the
Baptists of North America,
General Missionary Conven-
tion of the Baptist Denomi-
nation, 52f. See also
George, David, 36, 175.
Georgia, 35, 36, 37, 38, 69, 97,
107, 112, 117, 145.
Germany, 3, 5ff., 157-161, 167.
Going, Jonathan, 48.
Graves, R. H., 87.
Great Awakening, 30f., 39, 131,
Gregg, Jacob, 58.
Griffith, Benjamin, 82f., 148.
Grimes, Leonard, 103, 106f. 9
Haiti, 51, 58, 73f., 81, 109, 118.
Haldane Brothers, The, 17,
Half-way Covenant, 28.
Hall, Robert, 19, 21.
Harper, William Rainey, 141.
Harrison, General Thomas,
Hart, Oliver, 33.
Hatzer, Ludwig, 5.
Helwys, Thomas, 11.
Henry of Lausanne, 3.
Hoby, J., 65.
Hoffman, Melchior, 7.
Holcombe, Henry, 144.
Holliman, Ezekiel, 25.
Holman, Russel, 96.
Holmes, Donald, 58.
Holmes, Obadiah, 27.
Homes for Aged, 153.
Honorary Degrees, 67, 115.
Hospitals, 70, 79, 87f., 89, 90,
95, 98, 99, 154.
Hovey, Alvah, 141.
Hubmaier, Balthasar, 4.
Hughes, Joseph, 21f.
Hungary, 166, 167, 168.
Huss, John, 3.
Hut, Hans, 6.
Hymnody of the Baptists,
Illinois, 43, 44f., 49, 59, 108,
109, 111, 137.
Immersion, 12, 13, 22, 53, 123,
125, 162, 173.
Independent Baptist Church
of America, 135f.
India, 18, 19, 52ff., 54, 70, 72,
Indian Territory, 49, 80, 96.
Indiana, 43, 44, 49, 108, 145.
Indians, 28, 41, 48, 49, 56, 80,
92, 96, 142.
Ireland, 13, 21.
Isaac, E. W. D., 120.
Italy, 3, 168.
Jackson, Daniel, 57.
Jacob, Henry, 12.
Japan, 70, 74, 89f.
Jasper, John, 177.
Jefferson, Thomas, 60.
Jesus, 1, 63, 151, 155, 169.
Jeter, J. B., 66, 67.
John of Xeyden, 8.
John the Baptist, 1.
Johnson, Francis, 10.
Johnson, Hezekiah, 78.
Judson, Adoniram, 51f.
Kelly, Edmund, 106.
Kentucky, 40f., 51, 59, 63, 96,
100f., 110, 145.
Kiffen, William, 13.
King, G. M. P., 77.
Knapp, Jacob, 67, 150.
Knollys, Hanserd, 13.
Koebner, Julius, 158, 161.
Lathrop, John, 12.
Latvia, 165, 167.
Lehmann, Gottfried Wilhelm,
Leland, John, 57, 147, 177.
Lemen family, 44, 60.
Lemon, William, 35.
Leonard, Chauncey, 73.
Liele, George, 36, 37, 38.
Lithuania, 161, 165, 167.
Lord's Supper, 1, 20f., 132,
Lott Cary Baptist Foreign
Mission Convention, 117f.,
Louisiana, 45f., 108, 112.
Love, E. K., 71.
Lukar, Mark, 26.
Luther, Martin, 4, 7, 149.
Lutherans, 7, 8, 159, 163.
Maine, 30, 31, 131, 145, 164.
Manly, Basil, Jr., 101.
Manning, James, 26, 32, 57.
Manz, Felix, 5.
Marshall, Abraham, 38.
Marshall, Andrew, 93.
Marshall, Daniel, 32,
Maryland, 30, 56, 96, 113, 116.
Mason, Francis, 72.
Massachusetts, 25, 27f., 30, 31,
35, 39, 56.
Massachusetts Baptist Mis-
sionary Society, 46, 48, 51.
Mathews, Shailer, 152.
Matthys, Jan, 7f.
MacArthur, Robert Staurt,
McClannahan, Elder, 33.
McCoy, Isaac, 44, 45, 48, 49.
McLaren, Alexander, 19.
Meachum, John Berry, 48, 57.
Menno, Simons, 8f.
Mennonites, 8f., 10, 11, 12,
128, 156, 165.
Mercer, Jesse, 66.
Mexico, 78, 80, 89f.
Michigan, 43, 45, 49.
Miller, Theodore Doughty,
Miller, William, 128.
Ministers, 1, 42, 79, 102, 151,
173, 176, 177.
Missions, 42, 67, 98, 132, 156.
Mississippi, 108, 109, 110, 112.
Missouri, 47f., 57, 60, 96, 108.
Mitchell, Edward, 103f.
Moore, Miss Jonanna P., 113,
Morehouse, Henry L. quoted,
Morris, Elias C, 117, 120,
Morris, Philip F., 116.
Mullins, E. Y., 174.
Murdock, John N., 71.
Murton, John, 11.
Myles, John, 13, 27.
National Baptist Convention
of America (unincorpo-
National Baptist Convention
of the United States of
National Baptist Education
Negro Free Baptists, 133.
Negro Preachers, as slave-
Negro Primitive Baptists, 135.
Negroes of Providence Plan-
Netherlands, 7, 9, 10f., 166.
New England, 12, 25, 30, 32,
33, 75, 107.
New England Baptist Mission-
ary Convention, 110, 116f.
New Hampshire, 31, 65, 103,
New Jersey, 29, 43.
New Lights, 31, 32. See Sep-
New Mexico, 78, 96.
New York, 28, 39, 43, 66, 97,
108, 109, 110.
New Zealand, 22, 170.
Newman, William P., 73, 108.
Nilsson, Frederick 0.> 163f.
Non-English Speaking Ameri-
cans," 78f., 98, 142.
North Carolina, 30, 40, 112,
Northern Baptist Convention,
83-86, 137, 155, 172.
Norway, 161, 162, 164, 167.
Northwestern and Southern
Baptist Convention, 107f.
Ohio, 43, 61, 108, 145.
Oncken, Johann Gerard,
157ff., 161, 163, 165.
Orientals, American, 80.
Orphanages, 20, 79, 153.
Palmer, Paul, 132,
Parker, Daniel, 50, 134.
Particular Baptists, 12, 14,
15, 17, 21.
Paul, Apostle, 1, 63.
Paul, Thomas, 51.
Peck, John Mason, 46ff., 62,
Pennsylvania, 29, 39, 55, 145.
Perry, Rufus L., 109, llOf.
Peter, Apostle, 1.
Peter de Bruys, 3.
Peter (Old Captain), 40f.
Peters (Galphin), Jesse, 36,
Philadelphia Association, 29,
31 32 129.
Philanthropy, 20, 75f., 140,
Philippine Islands, 70.
Phillips, D. W., 77.
Poland, 165, 167.
Porto Rico, 81.
Powell, Vavasor, 13.
Press, religious, 17. 49, 52, 65,
79, 82, 89, 95, 98f., 108f.,
117, 118, 120, 144ff., 151.
Primitive Baptists, 134f.
Providence Anti-Slavery Bap-
tist Association of Ohio, 44.
Quakers, 6, 14, 29, 32.
Quassey, first Negro Baptist,
Randall, Benjamin, 131.
Rauschenbush, Walter, 152.
Reconstruction, The, 74, 111,
Reformation, The Protestant,
Regular Baptists, 31, 32, 41,
Religious Education, 23, 82,
117, 120, 144, 172, 178, 179.
See Baptist Young People's
Union and Sunday Schools.
Religious Liberty, 13, 33.
Revolutionary War, 33, 40, 42,
Rhode Island, 25ff., 31, 34, 56.
Rice, Luther, 52, 53.
Richards, Henry, 73.
Riverside Church, 155, 172.
Roberts, T. J., 87.
Rockefeller, John D., 84, 99.
Rogers, William, 57.
Roman Catholic Church, 2, 3,
6, 8, 9.
Rothmann, Bernard, 8.
Roumania, 161, 167.
Roussy, M., 23.
Russia, 161, 165f., 167, 169.
Ryland, John, 18.
Ryland, Robert, 92.
Sakellarios, Demetrius, 167.
Sater, Henry, 56.
Sattler, Michael, 6.
Saunders, Prince, 104.
Schools, 17, 23, 24, 32, 70, 74f.,
81, 87, 88, 90, 98, 100, 118,
119f., 139, 151, 164. See also
Colleges, Seminaries, and
Schroeder, Gustaf W., 163f.
Schuck, J. L., 87.
Screven, William, 30.
Scriptures, 1, 3, 4, 11, 12, 19,
52, 63, 74, 157, 174.
Sears, Barnas, 141, 158.
Secret Societies, 67, 132.
Seminaries, theological, En-
glish, 20; American, 48, 51,
79, 100f., 110, 140, 159f.
Separate Baptists, 31, 32, 33,
Seventh Day Baptists, 14,
Simmons, William J., 113,
Six-Principle Baptists, 14, 26,
27, 28, 3.0, 129.
Slavery, 42, 57f., 64, 66, 106,
Smith, George, 58.
Smith, Hezekiah, 31, 32, 33,
Smith, Samuel Francis, 147f.
Smyth, John, 11.
Social Gospel, 69, 99, 151-155.
Socialists, Christian, 152f.
South Carolina, 30, 35, 36, 37,
45, 68, 100f., 115.
Southern Baptist Convention,
69, 81, 87-102, 110, 112,
118ff., 137, 148, 151, 168,
Southern Baptist Theological
Seminary, 94, 100f., 137, 168,
Southern Baptists, 30.
Spanish-American War, 98.
Spilsbury, John, 12, 26.
Spurgeon, Charles Haddon,
Staughton, William, 47, 57.
Stearns, Shubal, 32.
Stevens, Robert, 34f.
Stillman, Samuel, 56.
Strong, Augustus Hopkins,
Stuarts, The, 13.
Sumner, M. T., 97.
Sunday Schools, 47, 132, 144.
Sutton, John, 58.
Sweden, 161, 162ff., 167.
Switzerland, 4f., 166.
Tackamason, John, 28.
Tarrant, Carter, 58.
Taylor, Dan, 17.
Taylor, G. B., 168.
Taylor, J. B., 89.
Taylor, John, 50.
Temperance, 105, 112, 114,
Tennessee, 40, 41f., 107, 109,
Texas, 96, 112.
Tichenor, I. T., 97.
Triennial Convention, 46, 49,
52f., 54, 64, 65, 66, 68f., 70,
87, 89, 156, 158, 166.
Troy, William, 108.
Tupper, H. A., 89, 102.
Tupper, Henry Martyn, 77.
Turner, Nat, 63.
destinarian Baptists, 134.
Underground Railroad, 103.
United American Free Will
Universities, 23, 24, 25, 72, 76,
77, 100, 104, 114f., 116, 139f.
University of Chicago, 84, 137,
Vermont, 31, 104.
Virginia, 12, 30, 32, 33, 35, 39,
40, 54f., 57, 63, 67, 102, 107;
108, 109, 111, 112, 113, 116,
Waldensians, 3, 4.
Walker, Charles T., 177.
Wallis, Mrs. Beeby, 18.
Ward, William, 52.
Waring, Colston W., 55.
Washington, Booker T., 141.
Wayland, Francis, 66, 68, 141,
Welch, James E., 46.
Wesleyan Revival, 16, 149.
West Indies, 19, 35, 64, 103,
West Virginia, 145.
Weston, Henry G., 141.
Whitfield, George, 16, 30.
Wiberg, Andreas, 163.
Wickenden, William, 26, 28.
Wightman, Valentine, 28, 150.
Williams, Roger, 25f., 56, 174.
Williams, William, 101.
Willingham, R. J., 89.
Willis, Joseph, 45f.
Wisconsin, 43, 45.
Woman's American Baptist
Foreign Mission Society, 73.
Woman's American Baptist
Home Mission Society, 81,
Woman's Missionary Union,
Woman's National Baptist
Women, 24, 28, 43, 44, 52, 81,
97f., 101, 112, 141-143.
Wood, W. B., 97.
World War, 149, 160f., 166.
Worship, 146f., 178.
Yates, M. T., 87.
Zwickau, prophets of, 7.
Zwingli, Ulric, 5.
Duke University Libraries